Struck by Lightning

Lightning is always dangerous as we never know where it will hit next. Weather conditions build up and create a huge bundle of energy and when it releases, it does so with a huge bang and flash and it will probably damage something.

This is the story about what happened when our building was hit.

Irma and I had been caretakers for about three years and were managing a beautiful three-building condominium complex containing 246 apartments on four floors. We had never been struck by lightning. In the center court a driveway encircled a very nice water fountain that was surrounded by fancy brickwork. The parking was underground. The electrical power was supplied by way of a power line that came from the street and was fed underground to the electrical room in the underground parking area.

We Were Struck

One afternoon while an electrical storm was underway we were struck by lightning. The strike hit a pole and traveled down the wire, through an electrical box under the ground, followed the wire underground under the floor of the parkade and into the electrical room where it blew a huge fuse effectively shutting down the power to the entire complex.

Immediately I checked a couple of houses nearby and they still had power. I rushed to the electrical room where I was met by a resident who had been involved in the mining industry. A second resident came on the scene and told us he had been in business for 40 years as an electrical contractor. He had a quick look and advised me that the fuse was blown. With a flashlight he noted the fuse number and I called the property manager and asked him to order a new fuse. Unfortunately, none were available in the city. I had to purchase 50 flashlights and place them on top of our emergency lighting boxes in the hallways.

A Lighting System Arrives

The next morning a huge, self-contained generator system arrived and got us up and running.

Late that afternoon the courier arrived with our new fuses. I called the retired electrical contractor and he took the old one out and replaced it. Instantly, there was a loud bang. I really thought that one or both of the elderly gents would have a heart attack as the noise was that loud!

Fortunately, neither of them did. Now we had more trouble than we had bargained for. The property manager finally called in an electrical contractor who outlined the mistakes that were made. First, there was a spare fuse box next to the machine on the wall with two fuses. Second, the retired contractor had no idea how to get the job done. Third, the big electrical transformers, or whatever they were, had to be taken out to a shop where they would be repaired. We would be out of electrical power for two to three weeks!

If Only We Had Known

Finally, he explained that turning the power back on was not as simple as it seemed as each section of the complex had to be powered up slowly so as to avoid power surges to the system. Being struck by lightning and having the wrong advisors around proved to be a costly mistake. The final cost was over $100,000; fortunately, it was insured.

Shortly after the strike occurred I went out to the fountain in the courtyard and saw that the brickwork was covered with what looked like worms. We learned that on the west coast moss grows quickly so the lightning strike caused the moss to be ejected from between the bricks!

Two months later we were again struck by lightning. Fortunately, other than a couple of holes in the vinyl siding and all of the telephones being damaged in one area of the building, we got off lucky.

16 years experience went into our book.

  • Writing your resume
  • Finding a job
  • Job interview
  • Rental buildings
  • Condominiums
  • Daily routines
  • Waste management
  • Fixing things

Benefits you may receive such as;

  • Rent reduction
  • Working from home
  • Free parking, phones, cable, hydro,
  • Vacations
  • Stat holidays
  • Salaries
  • Dental

Once you have read CARETAKERS you will be ready to hit the job market.