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9 Photos of Homes Hit by Lightning

By September 19, 2012No Comments

There are plenty of steps that homeowners can take to protect their homes from the elements. They can do everything from putting up gutters to installing storm windows to mounting snow guards.

But one aspect of Mother Nature that’s difficult to guard against is lightning strikes. Even homes with lightning protection systems aren’t guaranteed to escape a direct hit unscathed. These 10 pictures of homes demonstrate the wide range of damage severity that lightning strikes can cause.


The most common type of damage to a home struck by lightning comes from the fire that it ignites. This two-story house in Wylie, Texas sustained major damage to its upper floor.


Here’s a picture of the aftermath from a lightning strike in North Carolina. This house was fortunate just to have its fire damage contained to the roof.


The owner of this Sparta Township, Michigan house wasn’t as lucky. The June, 2009 blaze was sparked by a lightning strike and the home was completely engulfed in flames by the time firefighters got there.


Not all lightning-related damage is caused by fire. This apartment building in South Carolina looks like Mother Nature balled up her first and punched a hole in the roof.


This April, 2008 photo of a Georgia home shows a little bit of everything in terms of damage from lightning: from the strike itself, the subsequent fire, and the water used to fight the fire. A closer look may even reveal mold contamination caused by the water.


What’s arguably the scariest aspect of lightning is not its power, but its randomness. While the above homes were severely damaged, this house in South Africa only received a glancing blow on its side.


This Indianapolis house suffered a bit more damage that the one above, but it still remained standing after the May, 2010 storm. There was no damage to the home’s interior or to that swingset which stands just a few feet from the side.


Even though the chances of someone being struck by lightning are around one in a million, that doesn’t mean that lightning strikes are infrequent. A storm rolled through Pennsylvania in June of 2009 and it was responsible for an astonishing 23 strikes per second — one of which started a fire that destroyed this Plum Borough house.


Finally, this picture from August of 2011 proves that lightning does not discriminate between the rich and the poor. This $70-million, eight-bedroom home on Necker Island in the Caribbean was owned by Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire owner of Virgin Galactic … and it burned to the ground.