Lightning Turns Saratoga Lanes Chimney into Pile of Bricks: Eyewitness Photos
One bolt from Saturday's storm sent the chimney to the parking lot.
As folks were taking shelter from the storm on Saturday afternoon in Maplewood establishments like Saratoga Lanes, The Wood and Maya Cafe, a crack of lightning hit the chimney on the corner of Saratoga Lanes, and sent it to the parking lot below.
Part of the chimney hit a balcony and broke out some of the railing. The rest spread across an open parking spot between two cars, as if that's what it had in mind.
Julie Moeckel, from Brentwood, was at Saratoga Lanes when it happened.
"Rather scary moment, the sound of the bricks hitting the roof and then balcony before landing in the parking lot was incredibly loud," Moeckel's father, Andy, told Patch in an email. He said after the storm, a neighbor came over and said they saw lightning hit the chimney.
Julie Moeckel took these photos from Saratoga Lanes that day.
Brian Hopfinger was waiting tables at Maya Cafe when it happened, and he didn't see it, but said he "heard a crack and a boom." He said the sound of the lightning strike and the bricks hitting the ground brought everyone at the restaurant to the windows.
Gene Coon, an owner of Maya Cafe, said the chimney disintegrated.
"The lightning cleaned all the mortar off the bricks," he said. "You could rebuild the chimney with them as they are."