Lightning strike throws firefighter into a wall

by: Greg Suskin Updated:


YORK COUNTY, S.C. - An off-duty firefighter was thrown across a room in his home when lightning struck his house Monday.

The victim's family does not want his name released.

Scott Boyd was worried when he was dispatched to an emergency call for a house fire, and realized who lived at the house.

Boyd is a captain at the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department in Lake Wylie, and the victim was one of his own.

"That kind of hit home to us, knowing that one of our guys was down," Boyd said.

The rain was torrential at the time, and thunder clouds were hovering, sending lightning bolts everywhere.  Firefighters raced from the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department to the man's home in the Autumn Cove neighborhood off Highway 49.

Bethel Fire Chief Michael Laws said the victim was trying to remove rainwater from his home during the height of the storm.  The bolt hit, and the electricity apparently entered through his hand and exited through his foot.

"It actually threw him against the wall," Boyd said.

The victim is a four-year veteran of the department, and his son also serves there.   Boyd said he was conscious, and talking with them at the time EMTs were working with him.

"At first they were taking him to CMC Main, and then later in the afternoon his son called and said he was being taken to Chapel Hill," Boyd said.

Laws told Channel 9 that the victim went to the burn center most likely as a precaution, because he's expected to make a full recovery. 

Boyd said his crew didn't find any damage to the home aside from the water, and didn't see any outward injuries on the victim.

"He’s a very lucky man. I'm going to get his rabbit's foot from him when he gets back, so I can carry it," Boyd said.

The victim's family did not wish to comment Tuesday, but said he is recovering, and is expected to return home from Chapel Hill late Tuesday.