Society

Teenage Girl Struck By Lightning Inside Her House

| by Alexander Rubinstein
Lightning Strike.Lightning Strike.

A Texas teen was struck by lightning as she opened the refrigerator during storms on Memorial Day.

Macie Martinez and her parents had just left the pantry of their home in Dripping Springs, Texas, where they had taken cover because of a tornado warning. That’s when Martinez opened the stainless steel refrigerator to grab a snack.

"As soon as she opened the door, that's when everything just went crazy. I heard a loud bang, like an explosion," Anthony Villarreal, her father, told USA Today.

Villarreal had to pull Martinez off the fridge.

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“I think the most scary thing I can remember, is not being able to let go of the fridge whenever it was happening until my dad pulled me off,” Martinez said. “I remember when I was holding on it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced in my whole life. Then, afterwards, I couldn't feel my legs, and I couldn't walk and I was just shaking.”

Her parents rushed her to the hospital where doctors found a wound on her back from where the electricity left her body. Her father also found what looked like burn marks on his arms. “"Later on when we came home from the hospital is when I started showing signs. I didn't even notice,” Villarreal said. “I feel some sort of pain. My right arm gets tingly."

A neighbor who was outside at the time told the family that the bolt came from underneath the house and exited through the roof. There is noticeable damage outside, reported Fox 10 Phoenix. Major appliances were fried inside. Sections of the wooden flooring downstairs were separated from the foundation.

Martinez is able to walk again though she continues to feel numbness in her arms. She is also fighting persistent exhaustion. Doctors plan to continue monitoring the teen to make sure she sees improvements with her arm and memory.

The chance of being struck by lightning is 1 in 700,000, according to the National Weather Service.

USA Today reports that Dr. Brian Skrainka, who treated Martinez, said the inside your house is “actually a good place to be because there is all that wiring in the house and copper pipes."

Sources: Fox 10 Phoenix, USA Today

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons