Lightning strkes 4 homes, burns 2 (July 5, 2011)
Karen Smith and her husband Mike found out the hard way on Wednesday that the old adage "lightning never strikes twice" is not quite true.
Within four days, their Highland Circle property was struck two times by lightning.
On Sunday, a bolt of lightning had hit a tree right next to their house, splintering the trunk and frying their cable and phone connection. The Smiths' cable and phone just been restored Wednesday morning when Mother Nature struck again during a thunderstorm Wednesday afternoon.
Mike called Karen, who was visiting relatives at the hospital, and told her that the house had been struck.
And this time, there was smoke.
"Call 911!" she told her husband. And then she called 911 herself when they hung up.
Firefighters arrived at the house at Highland Circle and quickly put out a small fire that was smouldering in the attic.
Mike Smith, who was at home at the time, said the lightning struck another nearby tree and then shot over to the spare room, breaking a window pane and frying all the electronics in the house.
Twelve-year-old Gabby Archer said she was at home next door when she heard an enormous boom and went outside, thinking her house had been hit. Her house seemed fine, but she saw Mike Smith outside on the phone and then saw smoke.
The Smiths moved into the home 14 years ago. There had been close calls before where trees had been struck, but never the house. Karen Smith said this was the third computer they've had ruined by lightning.
Rockdale County Fire and Rescue interim Deputy Chief Dan Morgan said the department received three calls of fires at the same time during the brief storm that passed through Wednesday - one at Irwin Bridge Road and another of a downed power line at a transfer station at Iris Drive.
Lignting storms on July 4 struck at least four homes, burning two, and several lightning strikes were reported on Sunday.