Jefferson State struck by lightning

Published 11:17 am Friday, July 6, 2012

Four Clanton Fire Department vehicles responded to Jefferson State Community College Thursday night after the building was struck by lightning.

Jefferson State Community College’s Chilton-Clanton Center was struck by lightning during Thursday night’s storms.

No one was injured by the strike, and the building did not sustain any damage.

“Everything seems to be working fine,” Site Coordinator Julie Emmerich said. “It actually happened at the performing arts center. There were classes going on at the academic side, but there was nobody over there at the performing arts center.”

Clanton Fire Department responded to the campus at 8:44 p.m., after a fire alarm went off and college employees called emergency responders.

“Personnel searched the entire building and also gained access to the roof, where the lightning strike took place and found no signs of fire,” CFD Chief David Driver said.

The scene was cleared in about 30 minutes.

Driver said there were signs that the lightning struck a resistor on top of the roof, a metal rod that directs the surge away from the building.

“We’ve had houses that catch on fire and have significant damage after being struck by lightning,” Driver said. “Trees and stuff like that get hit all the time. People have gotten hurt before, being inside a building that gets hit by lightning, but that’s a rare thing. You’re definitely better off being inside than outside.”