September 8, 1995 in Idaho

Lightning Dances Across North Idaho Bolts Spark Mobile Home Fire, Injuries At Fairgrounds

Rich Roesler And Gita Sitaramiah S Staff writer
 
Tags:weather

Lightning struck a Post Falls trailer home Thursday evening, apparently triggering a blaze that gutted much of the structure.

“The lightning went through the window,” said Amy Heston.

“It was like a purplish color,” added Tara Archer.

“It’s, like, the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Brandy Meyer.

The three 14-year-old girls huddled in heavy rain, watching Post Falls and Kootenai County firefighters pour foam into the home at the El Rancho mobile home park.

The lightning was part of a storm that rolled through North Idaho, turning skies gunmetal gray by mid-afternoon. Heavy rains moved with the storm.

A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect in the Coeur d’Alene area until 8 p.m. Thursday.

Today’s National Weather Service forecast calls for cloudy skies with a 20 percent chance of showers and a high temperature of 72 degrees.

A little over an inch of rainfall had fallen by Thursday evening at the Spokane International Airport. The record for a September day was 1.12 inches in 1974.

The area with the most lightning strikes Thursday evening was southwest of Coeur d’Alene, where 46 strikes were reported.

Two men working on a ride at the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds were taken to a Spokane hospital after the ride was struck by lightning. Their conditions were unavailable late Thursday.

In Post Falls, Robin Jacobsen said she was pulling lawn chairs under a tree when the lightning lanced into the lower window casing of the trailer.

“It was scary,” she said. “But I didn’t hear anything. I was too busy trying to get my daughter inside.”

Despite the rain, flames billowed out the sides of the trailer, the heat shattering windows. Firefighters knocked the flames down quickly, but not before the trailer’s middle was blackened and smoldering.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: Changed in the Spokane edition.

This sidebar appeared with the story: TIMING A lightning strike at the new Spokane Arena momentarily dimmed the building’s lights during an opening ceremony.

Changed in the Spokane edition.

This sidebar appeared with the story: TIMING A lightning strike at the new Spokane Arena momentarily dimmed the building’s lights during an opening ceremony.

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