ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A firefighter is injured fighting an early morning house fire in Howard County. It started when a storm moved through the area around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

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The storm was so powerful, people throughout Baltimore and its surrounding counties felt it. The house fire may have been caused by lightning.

Bill Koenig surveys the damage after an early morning fire destroyed the second floor of his Howard County home.

“We were awakened by a loud crack, and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s some lightning in there.’ And then my wife said, ‘I smell something burning,'” Koenig said.

Koenig and his wife were asleep upstairs in the home on Frederick and Marriottsville roads, when a thunderstorm moved through the area around 5 a.m.

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“I went outside and the roof was on fire,” Koenig said. “So I hollered to her to out on some clothes and shoes and grab her purse and get out right then.”

More than 45 firefighters battled the flames, but had to evacuate when the roof began to collapse.

“Half the roof was gone,” Koenig said. “You can’t believe how fast your house will burn.”

One firefighter was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The damage is estimated at more than $250,000.

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The American Red Cross found the Koenigs a place to stay while their home is being repaired. Unfortunately, their 13-year-old cat is still missing.