Woman Grateful To Be Unharmed After Close Call With Lightning Strike

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JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown woman is recounting her close call with mother nature, after a lightning bolt struck her Liberty Street residence this week, frying many of her electronics.

At roughly 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Michelle Vullo and her long-time boyfriend were riding out the storm that was blanketing Jamestown when, “We heard a tremendous boom, immediately coinciding with a blackout in our house,” according to Vullo. “It sounded like three double barrel shotguns going off at close range at the same time.”

After a moment of initial confusion, Vullo’s boyfriend called the fire department. She says within five minutes, firefighters arrived at her house to investigate.

No one was exactly sure where the blast first made contact, but things became more clear in the morning. 

“In the light of day, we did see some damage to this pine tree behind the garage, so we now believe based on the fact based that one of the outlets in the garage was actually blown apart that had an appliance plugged into it, we now believe that it hit the tree, grounded through the garage, traveled along the underground ground line, and closed out about four of the breakers in the panel box,” commented Vullo.

With many electronics still plugged in, she says quite a few items will have to be replaced.

“I have a satellite dish receiver that actually won’t even power back on, the television itself would not power back on, the computer powers on but has no output whatsoever… the outlet fire that happened from attempting to turn on the breaker, the kitchen light fixture, the security camera DVR,” listed Vullo. “A lot of things went down.”

The tenant cites approximately $1,200 to $1,500 of electronic replacement damages, with the majority covered by renters’ insurance. 

Even after the whole ordeal, she is maintaining a positive outlook on things. 

“Even though we had a lot of damage last night and it was very stressful and there was a lot of phone calls to make, this morning we were able to kind of take a look and say, ‘Hey, at least nobody was hurt, nobody was in the bathtub or shower, nothing did catch on major fire’… it could have been much, much worse,” explained Vullo.

In classic Jamestown fashion, the neighbors have been hugely supportive as well.

“[The neighbors offered] anything we might need. Freezer space, if we needed dinner, coffee, you name it, they were there to offer, so that was amazing. That’s part of the community, why we are here,” remarked Vullo.

Ultimately, the whole fiasco ended without much more affair.

“Kind of humbling when mother nature puts you in your place,” said Vullo. “We’re handling it and I expect most of the odyssey to be over by the end of tomorrow.”


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