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Errington man thankful lightning-exploded tree did not ignite

70-foot tree struck by lightning
Errington resident Barry Funk is thankful this tree did not ignite after being struck by lightning in late August. (Submitted photo)

An Errington man now knows what a lightning strike sounds like from just 50 feet away.

Barry Funk was awakened by the “absolute loudest bang” he has ever heard late last month, when lightning struck a fir tree close to his house.

“The flash and the bang were absolutely simultaneous. There was no flash, bang. It was just one humongous explosion,” he said. “It literally shook the house.”

Lightning struck the approximately 70-foot tree at around 11:15 p.m., and immediately Funk went looking through all the windows to make sure there was no sign of a fire outside.

“We’re very, very lucky,” he said.

Unfortunately, while the lightning strike did not cut out the house’s power, it fried the home’s electronics, including the nearby electric horse fence and gate, causing thousands of dollars in damage, Funk estimated.

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It was only the next morning with daylight he realized the lightning had hit a tree, which exploded and send chunks flying everywhere. A huge piece landed just 20 feet from the house. Chunks of bark were found as far as 100 feet away, Funk said.

An electrician has since been out to repair some fried power outlets, as well as the horse fence and gate, he added.

Funk figures the horses and donkey were scared out of their wits at the time of the strike but were fine by morning.

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Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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