“It’s amazing what lightning can do when it really strikes a home.”
These are the words of Assistant Fire Chief Dave Pearman, who arrived at a home in Washington Township in response to a reported lightning strike to find that the house had suffered a direct lightning strike at roughly 8 p.m. on Saturday.
According to Pearman, the power of the lightning strike caused nearly every electrical device in the home to overload, shorting them out. He said it also blew apart the phone boxes, caused a fire to develop behind the electrical box, and blasted the thermostat off the wall, launching it nearly eight feet across the room.
Pearman says there has been very few occasions when lightning will actually strike a house directly, but when it does, the effects can be devastating. Fortunately, firefighters were at a fundraiser in Washington Township near the home on 150 South and were able to arrive on the scene almost immediately. Thanks to thermal imaging equipment, Pearman said they were able to find the hotspot quickly and stop the fire before any serious damage could be done to the home.
The homeowner will need to have an electrician fix the home’s wiring and undergo an inspection before NIPSCO can reactivate power to the house.