Luzerne County home struck by lightning during afternoon storm

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HOLLENBACK TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It was a very close call Thursday for a Luzerne County family when a lightning bolt hit their house. The homeowner was just feet away when the bolt hit.

“I’ve been kind of close to lightning strikes before but never that loud that my ears were ringing like that,” Jessica Hartz said.

Hartz was outside mowing when she noticed a quick-moving storm approaching. She decided to go inside. Minutes later she saw a flash of light, then a very loud bang.

“The lightning hit the house so it scared me. I dropped to the floor, covered my head, panicking, like what’s happening,” Hartz said.

The lightning struck the roof, the surge of energy traveling through the house. Vinyl siding up top and below was shattered into pieces and thrown on the ground. On the inside, light switches charred, a smoke detector and lights detached from the ceiling.

“And the charred insulation up here. So it made me a little nervous. Definitely called 911 and got assistance as quickly as we could,” Hartz said.

When the strike happened, Hartz was the only person home at the time. Her husband was at work and her children at the in-laws. Firefighters arrived on scene to the smell of smoke, but no fire.

When it came time to move the truck, the homeowner tried to start it. It did not start. They quickly realized the lightning also got the truck.

“All the alarms and sensors were going off. Everything alerting that there was a problem,” Hartz said.

Burn marks on the rims and chunks taken out of the driveway indicate Mother Nature’s wrath extended to the truck.

“A little, you know, frustrating and crazy, but hopefully everything will be fixed and covered and back to normal in no time,” Hartz said.

The Hartz family considers themselves lucky. They jokingly told Eyewitness News they plan to install a flag pole that stands higher than the house, just in case it happens again.

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