EDMOND, Okla. - It was a terrifying ordeal for one metro family as lightning struck their children's bedroom, sparking a fire as smoke filled their home.
The two little boys' beds were only feet away from where the lightning struck, something their parents said may have saved their lives.
"If the lightning hadn't have hit the house, I don't think they would have woken up,'" said their mother, Lacie Belcher. "The end story wouldn't have been the same."
Lacie and her husband, Ray, said it all happened very fast.
They were asleep in the early morning hours Wednesday when the sound of lightning woke them up. Soon after, their two boys rushed to their room - as smoke filled their home.
"It was just a scenario where, in a time period of 30-45 seconds, the smoke went from something that was irritating and annoying to getting pretty thick and it makes you a little nervous," Ray said.
"You just think this isn't going to happen. Your house isn't going to catch on fire. That happens on the news," Lacie said. "As we were running through the house, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is really happening.'"
The couple made sure all the children made it out safely before Ray rushed back in to rescue the pets and any other valuables he could before the smoke became too much to handle.
"I think he realized on his own 'I can't go back in,'" Lacie said. "Even if you wanted to, you couldn't go back in."
She said she's just thankful her husband was home. He was supposed to be out of town on a business trip but stayed for their son's kindergarten graduation.
"It is literally by the grace of God he was here," Lacie said.
The Belchers' home suffered extensive damage, and it will take nearly a year of repairs before they can move back in.
"That's enough to make you think a little bit, so pretty grateful everyone got out for sure," Ray said.
The family said the difficult process has been made easier by the outpouring of support they've received from family, friends, the Edmond Fire Department, LifeChurch and Oklahoma Christian School - where their kids are students.
"I really hadn't lost it until we got a note from one of my little boys' friends that had her own money in it for him. It's just little things like that you don't think about and just the kindness of children," Lacie said. "I haven't been able to worry about anything because, before I even realize that I need something, it's already there."
At OCS, students have been taking donations just like that one to the classroom. A group of mothers at the school have started a GoFundMe for the family, as well.
Ray said, through the process of going through insurance and repairs, friends who have specialized in those areas have lent a hand.
"It's a lot easier when you have people who genuinely care about you, and know the system, and know what you don't and just relieve that burden for you," he said. "It's really hard to fathom that people just see something, and it's Oklahoma. It's just what people do around here, and it's really special."