Lightning strikes twice at Mandeville home

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 8, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 8 at 6:42 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

MANDEVILLE, La. - They say lightning never strikes twice. But that didn't prove true for one Mandeville homeowner Sunday morning.

He was jolted out of bed when lightning hit his property for the second time in 15 years.

A pile of bricks, blown into pieces, is all that's left of Choose Taurman's chimney. It exploded when lightning struck a nearby tree, then hit the roof.

Taurman and his family were inside.

"Oh, it blew you out of the bed," said Taurman. "It was an explosion and it just, ka-wham... I thought it had taken the roof off."

Taurman immediately thought the house was on fire and ran into the yard. According to the fire department, the force shorted the electrical system, creating an eerie phenomenon.

"We looked around and we noticed there was light in the living room where there should be no light, but it actually blew the lights on," said Taurman.

The explosion also blew apart a fence and threw bricks into a neighbor's yard. Bricks were also embedded in the roof.

Inside Taurman's home, the fireplace screen flew across the living room. He showed us where lightning struck the rafters, leaving a gaping hole.

The air was thick with the smell of charred brick, but nothing actually caught fire, said Taurman. And no one was hurt.

"The neighbors next door... were awake," said Taurman. "And they were looking this way. They said all they saw was a red ball. They said the whole house lit up red."

It's not the first time Taurman's property has been struck by lightning.

"Fifteen years ago we were on vacation and lighting struck a tree right by our barn back here, and down it went into the barn through the top of the roof of the barn and caught the barn on fire. By the time the fire department got here it was a blaze and they couldn't save it," said Taurman.

No one was injured then. Now Taurman says, when the clean up is over, there's one thing left to do.

"It's lottery time," laughed Taurman. "Got to buy the ticket."

According to the National Weather Service, odds that a person will be struck by lightning in a given year are one in a million. There were no statistics immediately available for structures.

Meanwhile, Taurman's power is turned off until an electrician can determine if his wiring is damaged.

 

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