Lightning Burns Home, Doesn't Ignite Gas

POTOMAC, Md (WUSA9) -- Residents here are bracing for round two after getting hammered Wednesday night with lightning strikes, falling trees, and a half dozen water rescues.

One Potomac man who made a fortune in investments nearly lost a lot of it to a bolt out of the sky.

"It's fixable," says Richard Stoker, whose huge home was blasted by lightning. " It's just going to take a little time."

You can't see the nasty damage from the outside, but inside, two rooms are burned and there's soot all over the house. Fire investigators estimate the damage at $100,000.

In the midst of Wednesday night's intense lightning storms, Stoker and his wife came just millimeters from catastrophe. "All of a sudden smoke gushed out of the back storage room. Black smoke. Electric smoke."

A lightning bolt hit a tulip poplar that hangs over the house. The energy traveled down the trunk... through a gas line, and into the home causing a smoky fire. "It was just smoke. And it went through the house like you couldn't believe."

The miracle here, up to a billion volts of electricity failed to ignite that gas line. "If that gas line had gone off, we really would have been in real trouble. We're very fortunate."

Less fortunate, residents of Yale Place in Rockville, where another lightning strike lit up four townhomes, injured two firefighters, and left 16 people homeless.

"Sometimes you get hit, sometimes you don't sometimes you get electric, sometimes you don't. It's almost like roulette," says Stoker..

And the weather is once again playing roulette with the region now.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories