At the old place last month, I wrote:
Jiminy Cricket, a real cracker of a lightning strike perhaps 100-200 feet away — no more than that because the flash and bang seemed simultaneous to me — just dismounted and remounted my external USB drive. There was no power outage or reboot or dimming of lights or any other effect that I could see, so I’m thinking some of that charge came through here to the living room.
I hear multiple fire engine sirens now.
Turns out I was pretty close. I did not go outside that day to gawk, but I just learned that the bolt struck a house precisely 300 feet from mine, setting fire to the attic. A family member of the local fire chief first spotted the blaze and, due to its intensity, seven neighbouring fire departments provided mutual aid to the town, four at the fire and three covering the station. Possibly a teensy bit of overkill, but actual honest-to-goodness structure fires are kinda rare, you know? Everybody wants to have a go.