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Lightning strikes 7-year-old girl's mattress

July 7, 2005

Tonganoxie, Kansas. -- An early morning thunderstorm produced a lightning bolt that hit a house, traveled through the roof and down some metal edging in a bedroom wall, and set a mattress on fire. 7-year-old Kaylee Shriner, was sleeping on the mattress at the time. Kaylee's younger sister was also in the room, sleeping in a separate bed.

The girls jumped up and ran to tell their parents.

"My mom thought that I was on fire, but I wasn't -- it was my bed," Kaylee Shriner said. "(Dad) was coming down the hallway, and we said, 'Dad, Dad, our room is on fire; my bed is on fire!'"

The girl's father, Trent Shriner, attempted to smother the flames with blankets, but the fire was burning the mattress from the inside out. He then dragged the fiery mattress down the stairs and out the front door, getting minor burns on his hands, arms and legs.

"He said a bad word, and then Mom heard it, and then she went upstairs, and then she said a bad word, and there were lots of bad words around here," the 7-year-old said.

The girl's parents said they were worried that Kaylee had been injured when they saw black soot on her face and in her hair, but amazingly, she was fine.

"It was pretty scary; we're really lucky," said Kaylee's father.

"Had she been touching the cord or touching the wall in a different place, it might have been a whole different story," said fire Capt. John Callahan.







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