Storm damage: 3-alarm fire, tree split in half, Planet Fitness left in the dark

Monday, June 19, 2017 11:22PM
Lightning creates 3-alarm house fire in Chester County. Christie Ileto reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on June 19, 2017.


PHILADELPHIA - A storm moved through the region Monday afternoon bringing heavy winds, drenching rains, and powerful lightning.

A lightning bolt resulted in a three-alarm fire in Pocopson Township, Chester County.

Ted and Hope Sage spotted a lightning bolt leaving their childrens' home.

"We saw a huge lightning flash and instead of coming to a point, it was like two bars of the whitest lightning I have ever seen, hitting just behind the trees," Hope Sage said.

Neighbor Debbie Ventura witnessed flames coming out of the chimney of the home.

"They were breaking the windows in the front of the house and there was smoke billowing out of all the upstairs windows," Ventura said.

Officials now estimate the home sustained more than $750,000 in damages.

"The lightning strike we believe was to the chimney, which went down and compromised the structure areas between the basement and first floor levels," Chester County Chief Fire Marshal John Weer said.

The homeowners were apparently out of town. A woman who was house-sitting made it out safely and told Action News she's fine, but shaken.

According to neighbors, the home is under contract to be sold.

"They did all this work on the outside of the house, they finished it about three months ago and now they have to do the inside," Ventura said.

In South Philadelphia, the Planet Fitness had to close for approximately an hour and a half. An employee tells Action News around 5:30 p.m. lightning struck their side of the shopping center resulting in a total blackout inside the fitness facility. Power was restored around 7 p.m.

Action News viewer Chris Augustin captured video from inside the building.
Storm knocks out power to Planet Fitness


In Allentown, the storm caused a tree to split in half.

Matt on Twitter posted surveillance video showing a portion of a tree falling to the ground in South Whitehall Township.

Storm causes treet to split in Allentown

He then got a closer look at the damage.

Credit: Matt‏ @hockeyplyr4/ Twitter

Credit: Matt‏ @hockeyplyr4/ Twitter


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