Lightning Strikes Historic California Home, Again

For the second time in less than 10 years, a historic North County home is hit by lightning.

Images: Lightning Hits Historic Home

Officials said they got a call from a resident at a little after 6 a.m. About six minutes later, 16 members of the Escondido Fire Department, including two chiefs, responded to the call in the 600 block of Juniper Street.

Nobody was hurt by the strike, though the home did suffer damage from the lightning. Investigators determined that the lightning bolt hit a tree in the front yard of the Bandy House and tore a hole in the roof of the two-story, 2,000-square-foot home, which was built in 1891 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Remarkably, it was the second time the home was struck by lightning. As on tuesday, a tin ceiling in the residence became electrified in 1996 when the house was hit.

According to authorities, residents smelled smoke on Wednesday and got out of the house immediately, though investigators later determined that the lightning did not ignite the structure.

The lightning did other damage to the home, however. The electrical charge traveled into the water lines, as well as cable and electrical wiring. The charge caused a water pipe to burst, and flooding caused more damage to the house, said firefighters, who helped the homeowner to prevent additional water damage.

It is not known if -- or how extensively -- the wiring and electrical devices were damaged in the home, but officials did say an electrical meter at the house next door was destroyed by the lightning strike.

Fire officials said the people living at Bandy House may temporarily relocate if workers are unable to restore power to the residence.

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