Toilet explodes after lightning strikes a Port Charlotte home septic tank

We are getting our look at the damage left behind when a septic tank got hit by lightning, causing a toilet to explode over the weekend.

A significant amount of damage was done to the home, caused in a millisecond, leaving the family no time to react. Marylou Ward, a co-owner of the home, said it was the loudest sound she has heard.

The Sunday morning blast shattered the bathroom toilet into hundreds of pieces.

“It used to be our toilet,” Ward said. “We have nothing now.”

Ward and her husband are not only without a toilet, but the indoor plumbing is destroyed, along with the septic tank.

The odds were not in their favor as a lightning strike, in a chain reaction, led to the septic tank to toilet explosion.

“We come in here and the toilet was laying on the floor,” Ward said. “There’s all pieces everywhere. Pieces everywhere.”

Their plumber said the lightning hit the methane gases from fecal matter built up in the pipes. Ward said she thought the house was on fire.

“We smelled smoke and I looked outside.” Ward said. “It was the smoke from the septic tank that was coming.”

More than 24 hours later, there are still visible damages inside and outside of their Port Charlotte home. The explosion caused their master bedroom window to shatter and the Ward family are still finding pieces of broken yard decorations across the property and in the street.

“It just did all of that damage and exploded things into the road and so on in half a second,” said Charles Allen, the family’s neighbor.

Gratefully, nobody was hurt.

“I’m just glad none of us were on the toilet,” Ward said. “That’s the main thing.”

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Michael Mora
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