Rare, positive lightning strikes home in Ocean County

Posted: Updated:
JACKSON -

A rare, positive lightning bolt struck a home in Jackson, blowing out window screens and sending pieces flying.

The lightning strike happened during a severe thunderstorm Sunday night. Weather officials say that the strike happened at  11:48 p.m. as a positive lightning strike, originating in the top of the storm and many times more powerful than the more common negative strikes.  

The lightning blew out window screens and collapsed part of Debra Panella’s roof.

Panella says she just got to sleep when the strike hit, and her dog barked nonstop -- alerting her it was time to get out.

"I started to smell the smell of plastic burning and I went to open my back door and I could see smoke already and I grabbed her leash, my phone and came out sat in the car and called 911," says Debra. "Devastating. You can see the rafters in the attic, the insulation, the whole house is covered with insulation and the fireman brought me out to get a few things; the ceiling fell down just as we were getting into the bedroom."

Panella remembers her childhood home also getting struck by lightning and her TV exploding.

She says she estimates it will take up to four months to repair the damage.

She was not injured in either incident.

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