One neighbor described hearing "a big crack of thunder and lightning."
Another, Oliver Brown, 13, who lives a street over, described "a massive, I wouldn't say explosion, but a bang ... a flash."
After that he saw smoke and firefighters rushing to a house on Putnam Street.
"I've heard lightning before, but nothing this close," he said.
As a result of the lightning strike, the roof of a home behind 61 Putnam St. caught fire.
The lightning strike happened shortly after 5 p.m. as a , knocking over branches, trees and utility polls, causing flooding, closing down some streets and leading to reports of gridlock traffic in some parts of the city, according to police and fire scanner transmissions.
At 61 Putnam St., firefighters came quickly and had the fire knocked down a little after 5:30 p.m., according to neighbors and scanner transmissions.
The fire was in the roof of home, a converted barn, set back behind 61 Putnam St., and it was home to an artist, neighbors said. It was filled with artwork and the owner had just left for vacation that morning, they said.
George Beardsley, a neighbor, was sitting on his porch, watching the storm, when the lightning struck.
He captured video of the response from firefighters. The video, which you can see above, shows a firefighter on the roof of the building battling flames.
In another video, also above, Beardsley tells us what he saw when the lightning struck and firefighters rushed to the scene.