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August 15--  A mid-afternoon thunderstorm in the Vidalia area Wednesday afternoon was accompanied by lightning strikes which took out phone and computer systems in some businesses and started a house fire.

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pinetreeFire Chief Brian Sikes says the home of the John Pointer family at 803 5th Street suffered serious fire damage to the interior after lightning hit and split an 80-foot pine tree in the front yard.

No occupants were injured, but a fireman suffered a cut on his arm fighting the fire, according to the chief.