Arkansas GI Returns to Destroyed Home After Lightning Strike

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An Arkansas soldier serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq came back to the state on leave to surprise her family, but instead found her family's home destroyed by fire after a lightning strike.

Rebecca Beaird, 20, came home Wednesday to Little Flock in northwest Arkansas. She spent the day with family and came home to flames lighting the night sky.

The flames were from her family's home. A fire gutted it, making it a total loss for the home where she lived with her parents and her two sisters since 1999.

"It was sad because you think about everything that's in there. My family lost everything," Beaird told Rogers television station KHOG.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing, but officials say lightning probably sparked the blaze.

As of now, the family is living at a hotel in Bentonville. Beaird said she was glad to be home to help her family out after the fire, but worries what they'll do once she returns to Iraq. She's due back Aug. 11, but said she will likely get an extension because of the fire.

"I didn't really know how to react because I knew everything was gone," she said. "My thing was, how am I going (to) get my parents back on their feet before I go back in August?"

An account has been set up at Arvest Bank in the family's name for anyone who would like to donate to them.