PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Ferguson Township Condominium Catches Fire After Being Struck by Lightning

By Steve Bauer and Michael Martin Garrett

A severe storm that passed through State College on Sunday evening left a path of fire and downed trees behind it.

Crews from several local fire companies responded to a call that came into the Alpha Fire Company at 7:23 p.m. after a condominium at 3221 Shellers Road in Ferguson Township caught fire after being struck by lightning.

“I heard it before I saw it,” says Helen Magnuson, who lives across the street. “It sounded like a bomb and I thought it had hit my house but when I raced down, I came out through this door, the house over there was already on fire.”

She says she “didn’t have time to think” and immediately ran back inside to call 9-1-1.

Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Kauffman of the Alpha Fire Company says that visibility was low due to heavy rain when crews arrived on the scene. After determing no one was inside the burning unit, fire crews from State College, Boalsburg, Bellefonte and Pleasant Gap battled the blaze from the outside.

Kauffman says no one was injured, but that all four units in the building suffered extensive smoke and water damage. One unit also took major structural damage to the roof.

“It probably took 30 to 40 minutes to get it under control,” Kauffman says.

While fighting the blaze one firefighter was transported to the hospital where he was being monitored for exertion as of Sunday night, Kauffman says.

The storm also knocked down trees at two intersections in downtown State College. Beaver Avenue at Pugh Street was closed after a tree fell on a power line. Borough crews also worked to remove a large tree branch from the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and Locust lane.

Meteorologist Steve Wistar of Accuweather says that it “was a pretty strong storm with quite a bit of lightning.” A severe thunderstorm warning was issued Sunday evening in anticipation of the storm’s strong winds, which reached 45 mph at the Accuweather center on Science Park Road in State College.

Because of an area of unusually cold air moving through the air, thunderstorms developed after this mixed with the warm and humid air closer to the ground. Ice crystals in the air also contributed a greater amount of lightning, Wistar says.

“The upside is that we’ll get cooler weather than normal for July for the next few days,” Wistar says. “The storms are kind of the payoff for the comfortable weather.”

About the Author

StateCollege.com

Posts from our partner website StateCollege.com.

Comments

More by StateCollege.com

Herwig’s Austrian Bistro Sets Closing Date

Owner Bernd Brandstatter announced in March that restaurant would be closing between June and August, but the final day of business has been moved up.

Former Penn State Football Player Denies Burglary, Assault Accusations

Spats Cafe Collaboration With Allen Street Grill Set For Grand Opening

Athletics

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Tony Carr might have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to make his NBA debut.

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Skeller Replacement Best We Could’ve Hoped For

The last thing we need is an Applebee’s, so maybe this is the best we could’ve hoped for, after all.

Playa Bowls To Open State College Location

Famous on the Jersey Shore for its brightly colored bowls and smoothies, Playa Bowls’ menu includes everything from açai and pitaya bowls to fresh juices.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Doggie’s Rathskeller And Garden Opens With Hopes Of Returning To Its Roots

The All-American Rathskeller is no more and Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden is officially in business — opening with its “sneak peak” at the new bar Thursday afternoon in time for Arts Fest.

Send this to a friend