WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A GoFundMe has been organized to benefit a Wichita Falls Police Department sergeant whose home was struck by lightning during severe thunderstorms on Friday, May 12, 2023, starting a fire that caused extensive damage.

According to Assistant Fire Marshal Eddie Mawson, shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday, May 12, 2023, the Wichita Falls Fire Department responded to a fire at a home in the 1700 block of Eagle Ridge Circle. They said they found smoke coming from the garage area of the home.

The fire caused over $200,000 in damages to the structure and contents, and a family dog died from smoke inhalation, according to Mawson. A firefighter was also injured while battling the blaze.

Authorities later determined the fire was started by a lightning strike that hit the home on Eagle Ridge Circle during a severe thunderstorm that was passing through Wichita County.

The residence belongs to Sgt. John Spragins with the Wichita Falls Police Department, his wife, Jessie Spragins, an elementary teacher in Iowa Park, and their family.

Members of the community have set up a GoFundMe account to raise donations for the Spragins family to help with the cost of repairs to their home and vehicles, which sustained heavy damage from the fire.

“They have given so much to Wichita Falls & the surrounding communities,” Dawn Shertzer, organizer of the GoFundMe for the Spragins family said on the fundraiser’s webpage. “This is our chance to support them during their time of need. “

Members of the community can donate to the Spragins family by visiting the GoFundMe that has been set up for the family. All donations will be given to the Spragins family to offset the cost of repairing their home and vehicles.

The fundraiser has a goal of $18,000 for the Spragins family.