Teen develops mysterious rash after lightning strikes her Palm Harbor home

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 17:57:04-04

PALM HARBOR, Fla — A Palm Harbor teen ended up with strange markings on her arm after her house was struck by lightning Thursday. 

The strike came through a vent in the roof and spread down through the ceiling in the bathroom. It then hit a metal mesh inside the ceiling which dispersed it to other areas of the home. 

"It traveled through here and it hit the fan,” said Torry Taylor, pointing to the area above her bed. "All of a sudden, out of nowhere it sounded like a bomb went off. It was extremely violent when it happened."

Immediately, she felt heat from above and a bright light similar to a camera flash lit up the room. She says hot embers also fell from the ceiling onto her skin.

"The sound was deafening, I couldn’t hear correctly. I couldn’t see, I was very disoriented, my body felt weird. I felt tingly,” she said. 

She ended up with lines on her arm a few days later. She thinks she was indirectly struck by lightning. "It looks kind of like electricity,” she said. 

After calling 911, firefighters rushed to the house to check on smoke she saw coming from the attic. 

They lost several T.V.’s and parts of their power box and doorbell were damaged. 

Experts say investing in a surge protector will save those electronics, but once it’s been used once, it needs to be replaced. 

Another woman in Palm Harbor says her house was also struck by lightning on the same day. She had a surge protector and says it took the brunt of the volts. But, she says a shock wave from the strike caused the cinder block and stucco on the corner of her garage to explode. 

She called Driven Power Systems who came out to do a safety inspection. They tell ABC Action News a lot of older homes don’t have surge protectors. They say you can install one yourself for about $35. Or an electrician will do it for about $150.

After a lightning strike, it’s important to have a company come out and check the lighting, smoke detectors and wiring in your home. They will also replace the surge protector at that point so you are safe if it happens again.

Aside from that, they say don’t use electronics plugged into the house during a storm and stay away from stainless steel appliances.