Lightning strikes Vernon home

Masonry chimney hit by lightning at around 7:30 p.m. at home off Bella Vista Road

Lightning hit and severely damaged a masonry chimney at a home off Bella Vista Road Wednesday night.

Lightning hit and severely damaged a masonry chimney at a home off Bella Vista Road Wednesday night.

Sharon Taylor’s dishwashing preparation was interrupted Wednesday.

The Vernon woman was getting set to do her after-dinner dishes at her Crosby Road home, off Bella Vista Road, when a large white light and big bang stopped her at around 7:30 p.m.

“There had been a rumble of thunder and definitely an explosion,” said Taylor.

It turns out a bolt of lightning struck a neighbour’s chimney, sending bricks across the home’s roof, backyard and roadway some 70 yards away.

Nobody was in the house at the time of the strike.

“All of the neighbours heard the explosion and we came running out to see what happened,” said Taylor. “We knocked on the door to make sure nobody was hurt but there was nobody home.”

Vernon Fire Rescue Services happened to be in the area on an unrelated call and were given information about the lightning strike by ambulance personnel.

“We get lightning strikes in the Bella Vista area a lot, but this one was unusual,” said deputy fire chief Jack Blair. “Not sure what the odds are of lightning striking a masonry chimney.”

An electrical outlet on the outside of the home had some scorching. Inside, as fire rescue personnel conducted their investigation, an outlet’s switchblade cover had been blown right off the wall.

“We don’t know the full extent of the electrical damage to the breakers inside the house,” said Blair Thursday morning.