Vernon and North Okanagan News
Home struck by lightning
An Armstrong family is still buzzing after their home was the target of a lightning strike Wednesday night.
Mom of three Chancee Aeichele was winding down for the night and had put the TV on for the kids before bed.
“I put a movie on for the kids in the living room and I went to read a book and all of the sudden there was a big huge bang!” explains Aeichele. “I screamed 'Oh my god' and I ran to the kids in the living room.”
She says the kids, twins (boy and girl) aged six and their 11-year-old sister, were screaming and saying 'Oh my god mom we just saw sparks everywhere.'
It turns out the lightning hit the roof ten feet away from where the kids were sitting.
As they were assessing what had happened, the tenant from downstairs came up and explained that she was putting her clothes in the dryer when the lightning bolt struck and zapped her.
“She said she got electrocuted (shocked). She said. 'I don’t know what just happened, but the dryer electrocuted me and I can feel it in my toes' and we realized we got hit by lightning,” says Aeichele.
A neighbour came over a few minutes later and said they saw the strike come through the sky and then saw something flying. The neighbour thought it might have been a piece of telephone pole by Aeichele's home, but they quickly realized it was chunks of their roof that went soaring through the air.
By this point dad, Doug Aeichele, was home on his lunch break from work. Using flashlights, he and Chancee looked for the debris the neighbour had seen flying through the air.
“We have a third of an acre and we found pieces of our roof at the edge of our property, probably 50-feet from the house,” says Chancee Aeichele. “My oldest daughter was very scared as she was closest to it. We were all freaked out because it was so loud as well.”
Doug Aeichele says there is a hole in their roof, and a bunch of shingles are damaged. It blew the gutter and downspouts off the side of the house and damaged the eaves. They say the gutter had burns marks and black spots all over it
“I am really glad it did not catch the house on fire, it really upset me that it was so close to my kids,” says Aeichele.
Oddly enough this is the second time Doug Aeichele's home has been struck by lightning. In 1999 his mobile home in Swan Lake was struck, the shock was so bad he was hospitalized.
A contractor and insurance adjuster are going to come look at their home Friday to determine what repairs are needed.
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