Valley Cottage man struck by lightning

April 11, 2013 3:24:38 PM PDT
A man in Valley Cottage was struck by a bolt of lightning that was so strong, it started a fire at his neighbor's house.

"Right when it was coming I said, 'Honey, stay away from the window.' So what do I do? I go over and I shut the window, and boom!" said Ed Mooney, Homeowner.

Boom is right. Ed Mooney thought there might be fireworks when storm clouds rolled in last night, but he never expected what happened next.

Mooney was closing a window when he was thrown halfway across his family room by the energy from a bolt of lightning.

"I think I was lucky, I was about six feet away, but it was like a compression shock, like if you are next to something that explodes. I think my body just got knocked back and I just yelled out, 'Jeez,'" Mooney said.

The lightning sent a piece of paneling flying, and seared the inside of a wall, the room filled with smoke.

Mooney was stunned, paramedics were called, but he wasn't hurt.

"They came and did the full cardiac EKG and everything else you could do and they recommended I go down and everything but I didn't have any symptoms and I didn't get hit by anything," Mooney said.

The lightning traveled along a wire fence, took out a part of the wood post, but that's just part of the story.

The house next door was struck as well.

"All of a sudden there was a flash outside, and I thought perhaps something got hit outside, and then the smoke started coming from the laundry room," said Mandi Zeltzer, a homeowner.

It was a small fire that Mandi Zeltzer's husband put out with a fire extinguisher.

Two houses were damaged from two separate strikes or one big one.

Either way, Ed Mooney's brother sent him an email Thursday morning describing how he beat the odds.

"One in 13-thousand, chance of a hole in one, one in 10,000, chances of getting hit by lightning, so he said 'Go play lotto,'" Mooney said.

Hitting the lotto would be a better way of having lightning strike twice.