Sunday, July 25, 2004

What has odds of 1 in 9 million? Hit twice by lightning - and he was

By Ari Bloomekatz
Enquirer staff writer

Larry Reynolds might want to think about becoming a professional gambler, because after he was hit by lightning Thursday night for the second time, he proved he could beat the odds.

Reynolds, 57, was wiping his shower dry after washing and shaving Thursday night in his home in Hanover Township when he said he felt a shock. "All of a sudden there was a bright flashing light and the next thing I know I was on my hands and knees on the floor, and I knew I had been shocked," Reynolds said.

A blanket was on fire near the shower, and Reynolds said he was able to stomp the blaze out. Wet from the shower, he heard someone knocking on his door, telling him his roof was on fire.

Reynolds said a stranger was driving by his house, witnessed the fire and stopped to warn him. The stranger then hopped on his roof and put the fire out with a hose, while Reynolds said he made sure his 1967 Corvette inside his garage was safe.

In 1987, Reynolds said he was also struck by lightning while standing on a building's scaffolding and doing electronic work.

Chances of being struck by lightning once in a person's lifetime are one in 3,000, according to the National Weather Service. But chances of being struck by lightning twice in a lifetime are one in 9 million.

Only 10 percent of lightning strikes result in fatalities, but strikes can also cause injuries or disabilities.

Reynolds said he is happy to be alive and that the only physical damage was a burn on the end of his left index finger.


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