Home of ‘Voice of Trojans’ McKnight hit by apparent lightning strike

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Barry McKnight, play-by-play broadcaster for the Troy Trojans, was dropping his wife off at work Tuesday afternoon when a lightning storm struck Troy.

“Wow, that one looked like it struck right where we live,” she remarked.

About 15 minutes later, McKnight stopped by his home on Wilson Drive and noticed that the power was out; then he smelled smoke.

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“I walked around thinking it might be one of the neighbors,” McKnight said.

But as he came to the side of his home, he looked up to see smoke billowing from a vent in the attic. He climbed up to the vent and could see flames on the other side of the house.

He immediately dialed 911and the Troy Fire Department rushed to his house within a minute or two of his call.

“Those guys were really the heroes,” McKnight said. “They went in and put it out and really kept it from getting any worse.”

McKnight said it was a lucky break that he had come home; he said he had no reason to come to the house and would normally have gone straight to campus.

Troy Fire Chief Michael Stephens said a lightning strike could not be confirmed as the cause of the fire, but said it is the likely culprit.

Stephens said the fire was contained to the attic still when firefighters arrived and that they were able to put it out quickly.

The attic and a guest room suffered moderate damage due to the blaze.

McKnight said this close to football season, he would usually have tunnel vision on his work ahead, but the fire may distract him for a few days. But soon it will be back to business as usual for the sportscaster as Troy’s home opener against Boise State approaches on Sept. 1.