PA House Struck By Lightning: Fire Causes $153K In Damages

A PA house was struck by lightning early Friday morning, causing $153,000 in damages, WJAC TV reports.

Early in the morning, the Johnsonburg Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire. Just before 3 a.m., the fire crew was on the scene fighting a house that was fully engulfed in flames.

They were able to get the fire under control, but the estimated damages are said to be approximately $153,000. Further, the cause of fire is said to be the result of a lightning strike, which caused a power surge.

While the skies were rumbling and lightning was striking in Pennsylvania, the same was occurring the day before in Harris County, Texas, where another house was struck by lightning.

Crews were called to the scene of a house fire on Wednesday morning. KHOU revealed that an elderly couple was just sitting down to eat breakfast when the roof collapsed. Nick Vespa stated that he received a phone call from his mom after the unexpected happened.

“They said they saw a flash and then the next thing they knew, I mean, the roof fell in. She called me and I got here as soon as I could. She said lightning struck the house and it’s on fire.”

While the storm was still brewing, the fire department continued to battle the flames. Cy-Fair VFD spokesman Brian Shirley confirmed that lightning was the cause of the fire.

“Our investigators came out and did confirm that we did have a lightning strike to the house.”

Sadly, the Vespa’s recently moved into the home from Missouri in order to be closer to their grandchildren. Mrs. Vespa was taken to the hospital as a precaution of smoke inhalation after first being treated at the scene.

Nick is just happy that his folks are okay and says that they will likely tear down the house and start over.

“I’m just glad everybody’s safe, you know. I could really give two craps about the house, as long as my folks are safe.”

According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, one in 200 houses will be struck by lightning each year. Among the whole United States population, which is roughly 280,000,000 people, the odds of people being struck by lightning is one in 280,000.

National Geographic reiterates some flash facts about lightning. Did you know that it is possible to be struck by lightning, even if the storm is 10 miles away? Another myth that National Geographic has determined is that rubber shoes or boots do not save you from being struck by lightning.

A strike of lightning is said to be able to extend approximately five miles away and contains around one hundred million electric volts. A lightning strike can raise the temperature of the air up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Further, lightning can be found not only in thunderstorms, but in volcano eruptions, intense forest fires, huge hurricanes, and even heavy snowstorms. Lightning can kill people, or cause severe injuries. Some injuries often seen with lightning strike are severe burns, cardiac arrest, and permanent brain damage.

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If your hair begins to stand up during a thunderstorm, take this as a warning that positive charges are going through you and you should immediately take cover inside. Storms create a negative charge and is attracted to positive charges on the ground, which channels lightning. However, not all storms create a negative charge. If a thunderstorm creates a positive charge, this can be very dangerous because it tends to strike away from the storm, up to five to 10 miles away. You could be standing 1o miles away from the storm under blue skies and still be struck by lightning caused by a positive charge.

How is that for some interesting facts?

[Featured Image by Shutterstock]

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