California man says meteor destroyed his home after he ‘heard a big bang’
Northern California officials are looking into the possibility that a meteorite destroyed a home in Nevada County Friday night.
The house caught fire after several witnesses described a bright ball of light falling from the sky.
It’s quiet in the secluded area of Nevada County where there are rolling hills where cattle graze. Where nothing happens.
“People around here are multigenerational cattle farmers or ranchers,” said Dustin Procita, whose home was struck by a meteor.
“Wide open spaces, This was kind of a farm cattle ranch area and not much around it,” said Captain Josh Miller, with the Penn Valley Fire Department.
Until Friday night.
“I heard a big bang. I started to smell smoke and I went onto my porch and it was completely engulfed in flames,” Procita said.
It appears a bright ball of light, which lit up the dark northern California sky around 7:30 p.m., landed in the middle of nowhere, KCRA reported.
“They said it was a meteor,” Procita said when asked what he thought might have hit his house. “I’ve always watched meteor showers and stuff as a kid, but I definitely didn’t look forward to them landing in my yard or through my roof. I did not see what it was, but from everybody I talked to — was a flaming ball falling from the sky, landed in that general area.”
The Penn Valley Fire Department, along with Cal Fire, battled the flames for hours and are now investigating what started the fire in this rural area.
“Meteorite, asteroid — one of those two,” Cpt. Miller said. “I had one individual tell me about it first and like, okay, I’ll put that in the back of my mind. But then more people — two, three or four more started coming in and talking about it.”
“Oh wow, looks like a flaming basketball coming out of this sky,” Procita described when he watched the video for the first time. “Definitely feel very lucky that it was 30 feet away from me and not five.”
As Procita and his wife pick up the pieces of what’s left of their home, they know they could have lost much more and realized the odds may be in their favor.
“They say it’s a one in four trillion chance, so I guess I might be buying a lottery ticket today,” Procita joked.
NASA has one explanation. They said the southern Taurids meteor showers are taking place right now, with the peak happening this weekend. Astronomers said this year’s shower will include an increased number of fireballs that shine very bright.
Many people who saw the fireball in Friday night are drawing their own conclusions.