Home damaged when lightning fells tree

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee County Fire/Rescue (OCF/R) responded to the King’s Bay subdivision early Friday when a homeowner thought her home had been struck by lightning.

A report by OCF/R firefighter-paramedic Lieutenant Justin Hazellief indicated a call was received Thursday, Sept. 29, at 11:58 p.m. from the homeowner who said she heard a loud boom and she could smell something burning as a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area.

When firefighters arrived at Donna Kahn’s home at 5102 S.E. 44th St. they reportedly found a window broken out and some pictures had been knocked off the walls of the single-story concrete block home.

There were no signs of fire, stated Lt. Hazellief.

“A 360 of the house revealed the power to still be on and no obvious signs of fire,” stated the report. “The window on the southwest side of the house was broken out and the tree adjacent to that corner had signs of lightning strike.

There were no signs of electrical burning on the house.”

Lightning had apparently struck the tree and it then fell into the window. Firefighters secured the broken window.

The estimated damage to property was set at $2,000 and damages to the home’s contents was estimated to be $1,000, noted Lt. Hazellief.

The last OCF/R unit cleared the scene at 12:43 a.m. Friday.

There were no reported injuries, and Lt. Hazellief indicated the state fire marshal was not contacted “… due to the obvious nature of the incident.”

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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