Lightning strike at Park Jefferson

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Panic broke out again at Park Jefferson Apartments on Saturday afternoon.

Just hours after the fire department put out all the hot spots from Friday night’s fire, the trucks and the sirens returned.

ABC 57 News was at the apartment complex to get a look at the fire damage in the daylight when lightning struck.

The afternoon was sunny and warm when all of sudden, thunder started to roll in. Dark clouds and hail followed but a blast of lightning is was shocked people at Park Jefferson.

“I screamed, like I was screaming bloody murder,” Diane Brock said as she stood on the patio outside her apartment.

The boom of thunder was so loud; she thought a bomb had gone off in her back yard. The sound sent vibrations through the ground and shook apartment buildings.

Brock said, “It was very scary, my heart is still racing.” Brock was on the couch when the lightning struck, a bolt hit an old cable antenna behind her apartment.

The bolt traveled down the wires and blasted into a storage shed, it hit with such force the electricity popped screws out of the wood, separated the walls, and shot the door right off the hinges.

“Just poof, it blew the shed apart,” Brock said.

Firefighters told ABC 57 News they had never seen a lightning strike blow a door off of a structure.

“I was surprised, I’ve never seen anything like it,” 16-year-old Doug Field said.

Field was in his apartment near the antenna, when the lightning hit he dove for cover, startled by the noise. “Yeah, I hit the floor pretty fast,” Field said.

The sound was so strong it shattered the three windows at Brock’s apartment, after the boom she said sparks and pieces of metal rained down from the top of the antenna.

Brock said she is still on edge, after the fire and now the lightning strike she said this place has to be cursed, “Yeah, that’s exactly it. It’s cursed.”

After all the panic and excitement, Brock said she’s ready to move, “Oh, goodness, we should get out of here,” she said.

Before lightning struck the shed, workers said it was in perfect condition, now it has to be torn down.

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