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The Villages
Friday, December 2, 2022

Apparent lightning strike destroys home in The Villages

An apparent lightning strike during a thunderstorm Wednesday night destroyed a home in The Villages.

The strike occurred at about 7 p.m. at the home of Andrew and Joan Gissinger in the 600 block of Inner Circle in the Village of Amelia. The house was deemed a total loss by The Villages Public Safety Department.

This house in the 600 block of Inner Circle lost a sizable section of the roof in the fire
This house in the 600 block of Inner Circle lost a sizable section of the roof in the fire.
This house in the 600 block of Inner Circle was destroyed by fire Wednesday night
This house in the 600 block of Inner Circle was destroyed by fire Wednesday night.

It was the 21st home in The Villages destroyed by lightning since 2004, according to local lightning expert Len Hathaway. It was the first total loss attributable to lightning since a home was destroyed in 2020 in the Village of Dunedin.

Hathaway offered a warning for the neighbors.

“Often times when there is a home destroyed by lightning, the door-to-door lightning rod people will pop up. These people typically install systems that do not meet the national standard on lightning,” he said. 

If anyone is interested in installing lightning protection, consider doing business with firms that are listed by UL and their installers have passed four closed book proctored exams to qualify as a Master Installer by the Lightning Protection Institute, he said. These firms do not engage in door-to-door sales in violation of The Villages policy.

Hathaway will be offering an educational (and non-commercial) presentation on “Lightning Tips for Villagers” at the 1 p.m. Monday, June 13 meeting of the Science & Technology Group at the Bridgeport Recreation Center. Anyone interested in attending only needs a Villages ID. 

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