Lightning destroys toilet at Oklahoma apartment, fire department reports

Photo of shattered toilet bowl and fan at apartment complex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. (Credit: Okmulgee Fire Chief Dewayne Hurt)

Firefighters received a unique call after severe storms pushed through Oklahoma Wednesday.

According to the Okmulgee Fire Department, officials responded to what was reported to be a lightning strike at an apartment complex in Okmulgee — about 40 miles south of Tulsa. 

Upon arrival, firefighters observed lightning had struck the roof. More surprisingly, the lightning hit the exhaust fan and extended down to strike a unit’s toilet. 

"The fan was destroyed and the toilet bowl was severely damaged," Okmulgee’s Fire Chief Dewayne Hurt told FOX Television Stations Group. "There was a slightly burned rafter in the attic area where we believe the lightning struck." 


Photo of destroyed toilet at apartment complex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. (Credit: Okmulgee Fire Chief Dewayne Hurt)

The photos, which quickly went viral across social media, show the bathroom’s shattered and charred toilet seat and fan. In addition, Hurt noted the crew had a small fire to extinguish in the insulation. 

"I’ve worked at the fire department for 19 years and never seen anything like it," Okmulgee Fire Lt. Rocky Morrow said describing the scene of the apartment.

According to local news outlet KWCH, the apartment complex said the unit was vacant but was set to be rented out Thursday morning.

Morrow added Wednesday’s storms were nothing like what he has ever seen before with flooding on nearly every street in the town and dozens of water rescues. There were no fatalities reported across the area.

"It is just so wild. You’ll never see it again in your life," Morrow continued. "It almost like an act of God. I mean it's just unexplainable," Morrow stated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is unsafe to take a shower or bath during a lightning storm

The CDC said lightning can travel through plumbing, so it’s best to avoid all water during a lightning storm. The agency suggests avoiding showers, baths, dishwashing and hand washing during severe weather. 

The National Weather Service also suggests avoiding plumbing during a thunderstorm.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.