Building evacuated after lightning strike

June 9, 2009 10:08:45 AM PDT
Residents of an apartment building were evacuated for several hours after lighting hit the building Tuesday morning, killing the electricity. It was a scary moment, but there were no injuries.

At about 8:30 a.m. the violent thunderstorms passed through, and lighting hit the 44 unit Cornerstone apartment building located at 48th and Pine knocking bricks from the top. In fact, the force blew several bricks across the street.

"I was coming out of the lobby when the lightning struck," said resident Claude Nicolas. "I didn't know if it was an explosion or what, but the lobby shook and knocked me down to the ground."

"There was a loud bang, and all the lights went off and on, then the fire alarms started going off. That's when we knew we had to leave," said Kate Laepple Hertzog.

Mike Discher is a painter who was working nearby. His truck was hit by the flying bricks.

"Blew the bricks right across the street and right into my truck. It knocked a hole in my magnetic sign that I have on the side of my truck," Discher said.

The lighting knocked out the electricity to the entire building. The fire department responded quickly.

Inspectors from L & I and PECO are on the sceen and it could take a few hours before electrical repairs are made and power restored. Only then will residents be allowed in.

They are also going to have to look at the top of the building to back sure no more bricks are in danger of falling.

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