Carol Parkin experienced quite the literal jolt on Saturday evening when she witnessed her garage get struck by lightning.
"I was standing in my kitchen looking at the hail coming down ... then this bolt came down and hit the corner of the garage," said Parkin, adding that "it was really scary."
As smoke was coming off the corner of the garage where the lightning bolt hit, Carol and husband Gary did call the fire department, who attended the scene and did a test with their Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC).
"When it happened there was smoke coming off the roof, but it was pouring rain so that stopped," explained Carol.
She added that while an insurance adjuster will attend their property to ensure the damage is limited to some minor garage exteriors (siding and soffit) repairs, the whole event was quite nerve racking and left her a little "shell shocked."
According to Insp. Jay Wieliczko with Cochrane Fire Services, anyone who experiences a lightning strike on their property should immediately contact their local fire department - as a fire could be quietly burning without showing initial signs.
”What can happen - especially with a lightening strike - is you can have a fire start inside the wall. (The TIC) allows us to see any temperature differences,” he explained.
“It’s very important to call us. It can strike in one place but it can travel through the house and cause heat elsewhere.”
Wieliczko said it is also highly recommended for home owners to contact their insurance companies following an incident, as lightning could cause electrical wiring to go awry and render televisions or fridges unusable in the weeks to follow.
This was the first call for a lightning strike in the Town of Cochrane so far this year, according to Cochrane Fire. In recent years the department has had up to three calls in one incident.
Yesterday (Sunday, July 14) the Cochrane region was on tornado watch, as one touched down in Crossfield.