WARSAW — A tree near the Pete Thorn building was destroyed after being struck by lightning around 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20. The lightning strike obliterated the tree, with parts of the tree reportedly being blown up to 30 yards away.
The Pete Thorn Center, located at 800 N. Park Ave., Warsaw, suffered damage to the roof area as a result of limbs from the tree.
“A little after 3 p.m. yesterday we heard a super loud blast,” said Kosciusko Community Senior Services Executive Director David Neff. “Everyone was stunned. I went up to the senior activity center to check on our Liberty Sewing Circle members and they were all in shock.”
Neff then looked out the back door of the senior activity center.
“That’s when I saw the tree had been obliterated. There was a lady who had just exited through a door that is eight to ten feet away from where the tree was,” said Neff. “She was sitting in her car in the parking lot and said the blast lifted the front end of the car.”
According to Neff, there was extensive damage to the roof and all through the building.
“Our electrical stayed on, but our gas service was cut off for today. We have some water damage to furniture and the carpet,” Neff stated. “It really felt like an earthquake hit.”
Neff praised Warsaw Parks Department Superintendent Larry Plummer as well as Shaun Gardner and Chris Holsclaw from Warsaw Parks Department. “They were awesome. All three of them were at the Pete Thorn building within five minutes of the strike,” Neff said. “Praise God nobody was exiting the back door when it hit or this story could have been much worse.”
Part of the building was closed off Tuesday, Aug. 21, with activities normally held at the north end of the building being canceled. Plummer anticipates that activities in the building will resume on Wednesday.