Oh Sweet Lord, how I've missed you all, or: Our Lightning Strike

Three weeks ago I was making dinner during a thunderstorm when the biggest BOOM you can imagine occurred.

I peered out the back door (the direction of the sound)and saw a cloud of smoke or dust but nothing else remarkable.

I went to the front door, and a good thing too, as that is when I discovered the wire (cable wire I learned later) attached to our house aflame.

I dithered.

“I should do something about that,” I thought. I figured if I tried to put it out I would electrocute myself. “Hmm, something attached to the the house on fire. I shoud probably GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!”

The baby was already attached to me in the baby sling. I called for the other boys (7 and 4) who had come briefly to investigate the noise but had quickly returned to whatever they’d been doing.

I got everybody in the van and drove to the corner where I could see the burning wire and called 911. After a (seeming) eternity the fire trucks arrived, to the great delight of my sons, and put out the wire. Then they went charging through the house to make sure no smoke was coming out of the outlets from fried wiring, etc.

My husband arrived home from work in the middle of all this, momentarily fearing one of the children had been hit by a car or something.

After the fire guys went home we poked around. We found broken bricks in the front of the house and charred chunks of bricks blown off the back of the house up to 40 feet away.

My husband went into the crawl space and found wires with the insulation burnt off and charring on the wood beams under the house.

but the worst, the very worst, was that tons of electronic equipment was fried including the DSL modem (and despite surge protectors) and it’s only now, three weeks later that I have been able to return to my beloved Dope. Whew!


Glad you’re ok.

A friend of mine lost his brand new car in a hurricane a few years back. When he was able to get back to the house, though, the one thing he feared for was the computer. Says it kind of brought to him what are the most important objects in his life (not neccesarily the most important things, which are the ones you took out of the house).

Glad your kids are ok :slight_smile:

Good grief! What about the power in the rest of the house? Were you able to stay in the house, or did you have to live elsewhere until you got lights back and such?

The actual electricity, the lights and such, never went out! Very strange. A few lightbulbs were blown. We only just discovered our answering machine was blown, as we only just got our phone line repaired (3 weeks!).

There was no reason to leave the house, other than the lack of internet access, which did seem barbaric.

Have you had an electrician look over your wiring to be sure it is safe? :eek: I would pay for an inspection to be sure no repairs to your wiring are needed. The peace of mind would be worth the cost IMO. Especially given this:

Glad you are all ok!

Holy crap! Glad there wasn’t anything too serious, or injury.

You’re getting your insurance people to replace things, correct?

:eek: Glad you’re OK!

I had a similar experience that fortunately fried nothing. Blew the top off my chimney, though. Only reason I found out quickly was that my neighbor noticed it and came over to tell me. I probably would have had water damage otherwise. (He kindly helped put a tarp over it…)

I second the suggestion to have an electrician take a look at everything.

Can’t believe you stayed…without internet access. :smiley:

Welcome back!


Glad you are okay. Remember, things and internet accesses can be replaced, but people can’t.

On September 10, 2001, we had an afternoon thunderstorm that blew out the refrigerator of one of our tenants.

Many people would have gone to bed , and the fire spread during the night. I’m glad to hear you called the fire department out, after getting everybody out.

My aunt had lighting follow the chimney down to the basement. It blew the kitchen wall out a foot and their girls bedroom wall out a foot. ruined a wood furnance, the backup gas furnance, and the water heater. The chimney that went through the middle of the house had to be rebuilt also.

My thesis advisor had her TV blow out from a lightening strike to the cable. Came right through the TV and exploded it all around her TV room.

Very scary!

But being without internet access for three weeks- I shudder at the horror…

I’m very glad your family is safe.

We are having an electrician in next week and the home owners’ insurance should be covering everything after the deductible.

thanks for all the warm fuzzies!