Lightning strike too close for comfort

By Michelle Costanza

July 3, 2014 Updated Jul 3, 2014 at 11:15 PM EDT

Town of Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The lesson "when thunder roars, head indoors" paid off for one man, when lightning hit a little too close to home Thursday evening.

David Kilmer was working on his deck when a storm began rolling in. He and his friend opted to head inside after hearing thunder in the distance.

"We had just picked up the saws, brought them inside, the storm wasn't even close," explained Kilmer.

Not 10 minutes later, Kilmer said chaos quickly ensued.

"It sounded like a cannon went off ... like a shotgun right by your ear, and I walked outside and saw the porch was blown apart," said Kilmer.

It took just one stray bolt of cloud-to-ground lightning to set Kilmer's cable box on fire, and wreck havoc on his yard as well.

A 700-pound to 800-pound landscaping rock was blown from under his porch, sending two-by-fours and mud across the lawn.

"The mud must have sprayed about 50 feet in the air," laughed an unbelieving Kilmer.

In addition to destroying the deck, the bolt conducted an electric current that ripped an 80-foot path through the earth where Kilmer's electrical wires had been buried, through the woods, and out to a telephone pole -- which caught fire instantly.

"It's amazing what it can do ... a surprise ... a scary day," said Kilmer of "nature's electricity."

The Town of Binghamton Fire Department and New York State Police responded to the Peckham Road address where Kilmer was left unscathed, but not without an experience he won't soon forget. And a bigger project on his deck.

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