Lightning Strikes Connecticut
In One Day
May 4, 2004
Thompson, CT.-- Fire Lt. Mike Rivers
has been trained to have great respect for the dangers of a lightning
bolt. And after his recent experience, he has an even greater realization
of the power and danger of lightning.
Rivers, along with members of his West
Thompson Fire Department and two other Thompson fire companies,
responded to a call at 320 Reardon Road. The residents reported
their house had been struck by lightning. A mother and her two children
were inside the home at the time the lightning struck, but no one
"We had just pulled up and I was
putting my air pack on when a second lightning bolt hit," said
Rivers. "A truck from Community (North Grosvenordale) had just
pulled up a few seconds before we did and their guys were getting
ready to enter the house when the second lightning strike came."
Rivers said the lightning struck a
utility pole near the home , traveled along the utility wires into
the house and blew the electrical meter in the basement off the
"It was like a brilliant white-blue
flash of light," Rivers said. "When it hit, it sounded
like a very loud explosion; the noise was incredible. Some of the
firefighters tried to cover their ears to muffle the sound. I fully
expected to turn around and see the house knocked right off its
"It's amazing nobody was injured,"
The crew from the Community Fire Company
entered the house and quickly determined there was no fire, although
there was a lot of smoke in the basement.
Rivers said the lightning traveled
through the house, damaging some walls and knocking items on to
the floor before exiting the opposite side of the house.
It then followed an outside underground
electric line, slamming through a concrete patio or walkway and
a concrete retaining wall that was several inches thick. The lightning
dug a trench through the ground that was estimated to be approximately
2 1/2 feet wide by about 35 feet long. It then ricocheted off metal
poles in a garden and finally grounded itself in an outdoor well
"As bad as the damage was inside,
the outside damage was even more amazing," Rivers said. "We
looked on the roof, and there were clumps of sod and chunks of concrete
all over it. I've never seen anything like this."