BROOK PARK, Ohio — It was a one in a million shot, but a Brook Park family says they’re lucky to be alive after a lightning strike in their backyard.
“I was coming up the side stairs. I just heard a huge boom and all this debris falling,” said homeowner Crystal Duffield.
Duffield’s home is not too far from the airport and she said, at first, she thought something had fallen from the sky last Thursday night.
Well, technically something did. A bolt of lightning hit like an artillery shell in her backyard.
“I run and grab my kids and realize that they’re already screaming. I turn around to my husband and said like ‘call 911’ and ‘the house was on fire,'” Duffield said.
In fact, both the house and garage were on fire.
The bolt hit the tree, sending thousands of volts of electricity surging through the ground. The bolt blasted the garage off its foundation and knocked up the roof. It sent gravel like shrapnel in the air, knocking holes in the aluminium siding and shattering the window of a car.
It also knocked the pictures off the walls, almost stopped a neighbor’s pacemaker and sent pieces of insulation and gravel into yards around the neighborhood.
But after the fires were out, the real damage could be seen on the inside.
“It destroyed everything in the house. The house has to be completely rewired,” she said. “You just don’t realize everything that you have plugged in — fridge, coffee pot, vacuum cleaner, TVs.”
Crystal said she and her family are safe and that’s the blessing in all this.
But the unfortunate reality is that they’re being told that it will be two to four months before they can get back inside their home.
Friends have started a GoFundMe page to help the family with the cost of everyday living as they continue to sort things out. For more information or to support the Duffields, click here.