Separate lightning strikes across Gallatin struck two homes, caused a fire and sent one person to the hospital last week.
In all, three lighting strikes on opposite sides of the city were reported less than 20 minutes apart during the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 13, according to city and county first responders.
The first strike occurred at Habilitation and Training Services (H.A.T.S.) on Airport Road shortly after 3 p.m. and affected a female staff member of the nonprofit who was standing nearby in the parking lot, according to Ben Minnix, executive director of the nonprofit.
“It sounded like explosions,” Minnix added. “There were several of them and then power went out. Next thing we knew we had emergency crews flooding the area.
“It was probably the worst electrical lighting storm that I’ve been in.”
The employee was described as being alert and in stable condition when paramedics arrived, according to Sam Clark, assistant chief of the Sumner County Emergency Medical Services. She was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The lighting also caused a powerline to collapse in front of the nonprofit and started a small grass fire that was quickly extinguished by the rain.
Less than 20 minutes later, Gallatin firefighters responded to two separate homes in the 1400-block of Boardwalk Place and 1000-block of Lillian Lane that are both believed to have been struck by lighting, according to Robert Richie, assistant chief of operations for the Gallatin Fire Department.
Fire officials were told by the homeowner on Boardwalk Place that flames had been seen in the attic of the residence.
“Energy in a lightning strike is powerful, but it rarely causes a fire,” Richie said. “It doesn’t happen a lot.”
No injuries were reported at either residence.