It was an early summer afternoon back on this date in 1878. The weather wasnâ??t all that warm because Mrs. Siluts of Ishpeming had a fire going in the stove at her home situated in the Strawberry Hill area on Main Street. Suddenly, a heavy thunderstorm blew in, accompanied by intense cloud-to-ground lightning. A bolt struck the Silutsâ?? chimney, completely demolishing it, then traveled into the house. It threw down the stove containing the fire, and then knocked the poor woman, standing near the stove, to the floor. Her shoes and stockings were ripped from her feet, while her clothes were â??rent and torn.â?? Siluts received serious injuries; her face and limbs were blackened and lacerated.
A neighbor rushed to the scene immediately after the strike and entered the house, which was â??filled with blinding smoke.â?? He quickly put out the scattered fires caused by the toppled stove, preventing a conflagration. He then rushed to Mrs. Silutsâ?? aid; at first he thought she was dead, but she soon regained consciousness. Another woman in the house was knocked to the ground by the bolt but was only stunned, while several other occupants â??were almost out of their wits.â?? Other than the chimney, the house sustained only minor damage. As for Mrs. Siluts, she recovered, but probably carried psychological scars from the thunderstorm the rest of her life.
There is a number of instances where lightning struck homes causing heavy damage, injuries and even death back in the late 19th and early 20th century. It may have to do with the fact that the forest was nearly clear-cut during that time, which meant that the houses were the highest objects in the vicinity. Maybe we donâ??t have as many damaging strikes from lightning nowadays because our homes are wired and properly grounded.