Fire officials say that a lightning strike was most likely what caused a large, rural home to go up in flames.

  More than 45 firefighters from five different stations were called to the fire Saturday evening on Robinson Road outside of Brantford.

Roughly 70,000 gallons of water was used to control the flames that completely destroyed the 2,500 square foot house.

County of Brant Fire Chief Geoff Hayman says they can’t officially confirm the cause because the investigation hasn’t been completed.

“The house wasn’t occupied so people weren’t at home at the time,” he said. “Nobody was there to say it started here or there.”

Those who live nearby say they saw the moment the lightning struck.

“I was playing outside with my friend, skateboarding down the driveway, and then all of a sudden we heard a big bang and a flash of light,” said neighbour Justin Reeder.

Hayman believes the cost of damage is higher than a million dollars.

“We were able to stop it from doing a lot of major damage to a series of antique vehicles that were in an attached garage,” he said.

Officials say the fire is not being considered suspicious. The Ontario Fire Marshall has been notified.