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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 , and , 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."

Heidi Barks April 30, 2012 at 02:46 PM
In my back yard we had a 85 foot walnut tree that was uprooted from Saturday night storm. It fell on the Maplewood Knights of Columbus BBQ trailers. Since the trailers were smashed, they are not sure if they will be able hold their next BBQ in May unless they get help financially. As you may or may not know the Knights of Columbus is a non for profit organization and they provide assistance to organizations in need. If you would like to donate to help get their trailers back in shape or assist in helping them financially please send your donations to the Knights of Columbus ,7318 Manchester, Maplewood ,MO 63143
Yvette Chimney Chick April 30, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I'd say that chimney was poorly constructed in the first place- mortar looks a b it toooo sandy for my chimney tastes--good thing it came down

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