Fierce winds damage homes, spark fires across the region

(WJLA) -- Fierce winds that topped 50 miles per hour in some areas caused damage to homes, power lines, trees and more Wednesday night -- and made it difficult for firefighters to battle a number of blazes.

Though most areas did not see a lot of rain, as was feared, it was the wind that caused the most chaos throughout the area.

Silver Spring, Md. resident Antoinette Argawal said it sounded "like a collision between two freight trains" when an 80-foot-tall oak tree crashed into her neighbor's home, virtually slicing it in half.

"I'm alive. I could be in a body bag," said Joseph Kenney, her neighbor.

"I do get emotional. Because I've been through hell," Kenney said. "Pretty much the kitchen and the hallway are gone," he said Thursday, surveying the damage to his home.

A big bang was heard in Temple Hills as well, when a 30-foot pine tree crashed into a power line overnight, killing power to three nearby homes, and in Laurel, a downed tree in the road snarled traffic for hours Thursday morning.

Purcellville was a mess as well, as large sections of downtown were completely shut down and traffic rerouted out of the area due to at least three downed power lines.

Downtown D.C. certainly looked darker than usual when the Capitol dome lights went out Wednesday night as well, due to a power surge in the area.

Officials say, powerful winds can also cause a lot of problems when it comes to fires.

Lisa Marr said it was "frightening" to watch her neighbor's home burn to the ground Wednesday night, as early flames were fanned by the wind and spread.

"It was like an inferno," Marr said. "I was so afraid because the flames were so high, with the winds, and there were so many sparks."

In Mitchellville, a firefighter is recovering from minor injuries suffered when he fell one story while battling a fire at daybreak. And in Hyattsville, two adults and a 5-year-old boy barely got out of a burning home.