On August 20, 2005, at about 5:45 pm, lightning struck the chimney of our house, taking out half the six-foot-wide chimney. Bricks were thrown as far as 100 feet from the house, and chunks of bricks were spewed into our master bedroom.

We were home at the time, but nobody was hurt. A battery operated toy dog in the kitchen spontaneously turned itself on at the time of the strike and started yapping.

There was a strong smell of ozone in the master bedroom. The fire department came in with thermal gear and verified that there were no hot spots. So we were very lucky. Another house in the Pittsburgh area was hit by lightning from the same storm and was destroyed by fire.

The lightning storm fried half of the electronic equipment in our house, including one telephone line, our computer network (router, cable modem, network wiring), several computers, a high speed black and white laser printer and a color laser printer, all our automatic garage door openers, a half dozen or so multiline and conference telephones, a television, DVD player, VCR, cable DCT, several uninterruptable power supplies and surge suppressors, and a pinball machine.

Click on any image to view a larger version.

The six-foot wide chimney took a direct hit.

Another view of the chimney.

Some bricks were left on the roof.

Another view of the bricks on the roof.

Other bricks hit the ground. Bricks were thrown as far as 100 feet away by the strike.

The gutters were also damaged by falling bricks.

An exterior light fixture was destroyed.

The view from the roof.