By Ken MacLeod

MILLBURY (CBS) – As promised, the evening rush hour brought an angry sky to Worcester County with first responders at the ready.

“We prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Millbury Fire Chief Richard Hamilton said.

But in Millbury, a lightning bolt tore into the roof of a vacant house, touching off a blaze that clogged Elmwood Street with fire trucks.

“It struck through the roof, the fire was contained to the attic,” Hamilton said. “But when we showed up we had heavy flames showing from the attic.”

Nobody was hurt.

In Auburn, it was the wind that did damage, taking down a tree on Central Street, which then took down power lines.

Brandon Lopez was just returning home. “I wanted to make sure we stayed in the car so we didn’t get fried,” Lopez said.

auburn House Struck By Lightning, Trees Knocked Down By Thunderstorms

A tree fell down in a storm, knocking down power lines in Auburn (WBZ-TV)

Other neighbors say it sounded a battle zone. “We heard the tree crackle down and it was pretty intense, the lightning,” said Jennifer Sorto.

As the storms rolled east, they dumped torrential rain on places like Chelsea, where first responders had to pull several people from their stranded cars on Vale and 3rd Streets.

Back at the Millbury fire scene, the fire chief figured his luck had finally run out. “It’s been years since we had a lightning strike. We were just texting, the Sutton fire chief and myself,” Hamilton said. “And there it is, it happened.”

About 3,000 customers lost power during the storm. The hardest hit counties were Middlesex and Norfolk.

Ken MacLeod

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