Storms continue after lightning strikes at Swarthmore College, Broomall

An Action News viewer snapped this photo of the burning Women's Center at Swarthmore College.
June 13, 2013 9:14:07 PM PDT
The skies just opened up in Galloway Township and a large section of South Jersey just after 6:00 p.m. Thursday, as a heavy line of thunderstorms moved through the area.

"Oh, my gosh. It was crazy. The wind was going, it was thunder and lightning," said Jennifer Lesher of Absecon.

The torrential downpour caused some minor flash flooding on area roadways like Route 9.

In Christiana, Delaware, workers were busy cutting trees that had fallen on power lines along the 200 block of Old Baltimore Pike.

Delaware state troopers had to re-direct traffic due to traffic signals that were out in the area.

LIGHTNING STRIKES AT SWARTHMORE

The storm damage came toward the end of a day that saw two fires caused by lightning strikes in Delaware County.

A spokesperson for Swarthmore College said lightning struck a building on the Delaware County campus, sparking a fire Thursday morning.

It was approximately 10:00 a.m. when the college's Women's Resource Center was struck by lightning.

Firefighters responded to the scene and were able to quickly extinguish the flames.

Faculty, students, and staff were asked to stay clear of the area until crews could clear the scene. No one was injured.

Lisa Coulter and her daughter Dannelle live nearby.

Dannelle shot video with her cell phone of the fire and billowing smoke that filled the sky.

"All of a sudden, this big flash of lightning and then a big crash of thunder, and it literally shook the floors of the house. That's when we looked out and I saw people looking, and she went out there and saw all this smoke and the fire," said Coulter.

BROOMALL HOME HIT

Lightning was also blamed for a house fire five miles north in Broomall.

Fire crews were called to Lisa Fabrizio's home on Beechtree Drive around 9:50 a.m. She was not home at the time.

"The neighbor up the street said she was sitting in her den and saw the lightning bolt come across and she said to her husband 'that had to have hit something,'" Lisa said.

Lisa's teenage son Vincent was home when the fire broke out.

"As I saw the lightning, I saw a bright light, and heard the thunder. Then later I heard the smoke alarm go off. I go in the back and I see flames coming everywhere so I decided to get my dog and get out of there," Vincent said.

Vincent, a Marple-Newtown High School senior, was preparing for his graduation Thursday night when the lightning struck his home.

Unfortunately, Vincent's cap and gown were destroyed in the fire.

Lisa, however, said her son would still walk to receive his diploma.


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