The odds of being hit by a meteorite are astronomically small, but tell that to a California man who claims a roaring fireball destroyed his home.
“I heard a big bang. I started smelling smoke. I walked onto my porch and it was completely on fire,” Dustin Procita of Nevada County in rural Northern California told KCRA News.
The Penn Valley Fire Department responded to reports of a building fire near Lake Englebright around 7:30 p.m. last Friday night. It took them about four hours to contain the fire, but Procita escaped alive. Unfortunately, his dog Tug was trapped in the house.
“They said it was a meteor. I saw meteor showers and stuff as a kid, but I definitely wasn’t looking forward to them ending up in my yard or through my roof,” Procita said.
Several videos of meteor activity
Locals reported seeing a bright ball fall from the sky and land in the same area as Procita’s home. Some of the sightings were recorded on video.
Has anyone else seen that crazy flash light up the sky? Captured by my dash cam in El Dorado Hills, CA. pic.twitter.com/4BlzOB5ISD
— Derek Schnell (@DerekKCRA) November 5, 2022
Meteorites are small pieces of rock from asteroids that fall to earth. When meteorites enter Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up and turn into fireballs, or “shooting stars,” called meteors.
Yes, I also recorded it with my dash cam. pic.twitter.com/1L3kZH05sG
— Jason Berry (@jberry7777) November 5, 2022
There have been very few instances where meteorites have actually struck a person. In 1954, an Alabama woman named Ann Hodges was napping on her couch when a meteorite punctured her ceiling and hit her side.
Procita says he feels lucky to be alive.
“They say it’s a 1 in 4 trillion chance, I guess I might buy a lottery ticket today.”
The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire and should know in a few weeks.