Our apartment complex was struck by lightning last night. It was the same building as our apartment, but it was down at the other end. It was very exciting!
Well, the actual lightning strike wasn't all that exciting to me. I was in bed reading. The bedroom blinds were all the way open so I could enjoy the storm. Dennis was asleep behind me. I saw a very bright flash and heard the simultaneous thunder, but I assumed it hit the tall cell tower that's a little way behind us, so I didn't think any more about it. Dennis didn't even wake up.
A little while later we noticed two fire trucks and about six police cars in the front. Our downstairs neighbor was outside by her car when it happened. She said it hit the top of the building, then jumped horizontally over the parking lot and off into the woods.
There is a hole through the roof in the back of the aparments. The shingles are blown up and out, and there was so much force that nails were pushed through boards down into the apartment. The hole continues straight through the crawl space and the upstairs ceiling. Yes, they're looking at stars in their kitchen. The strike blew the filter / cover off of the downstairs apartment's stove hood. The apartment next door (upstairs) to the one with the hole in the ceiling is vacant. The firemen couldn't get in through the door, so they pulled down cabinets and hacked through the kitchen wall. They had to make sure it wasn't burning over there. They pulled out the kitchen fan, a whole bunch of smoldering insulation, blackened drywall from the ceiling, etc. It was actually pretty scary. It definately smelled like smoke all over the complex for a while there.
The emergency pager to get in touch with the management was out of service, so we had quite a time getting in touch with Debbie. It was a long time before she got over here. Shortly after the fire department left, it started storming all over again. The hole wasn't covered at all, so it may wind up that the downstairs unit gets ruined right along with the upstairs. I hope those people have their renter's insurance in order.
That was closer than I wanted it to be. The lightning was amazing last night though. After the storms had passed, there were a lot in incredible sheet strikes coming at us from the east. It was constant. There was actually more flashing from the sky than all of the emergency vehicles. Nobody was injured, there was no real fire, and we're all safe today. That's all that really matters.