Lightning strikes septic tank outside Golden Gate Estates home


NAPLES, Fla. — A thunderstorm led to a near-death experience for one family in the Estates Tuesday night.

“I got to the living room to go check out what’s going on, I’m walking to the door, and right there I’m feeling the hair on my arm stand up. And the lightning bolt hits,” said Frank Fernandez, who was home at the time of the impact. 

The lightning bolt traveled down a backyard palm tree, into the septic tank, blowing the lid of the steel drum clean off. The electricity then traveled down the pipes underground and below the home, before exiting via a hole in the dirt. 

“I see smoke and dirt coming down from everywhere,” said Fernandez.  

Fernandez claims that his son, along with himself, felt the electricity as it traveled through the home. 

“He was on the computer, playing games or doing whatever, and then a shock from the lightning bolt hit him, and pushed him into the pantry. He was sitting there rubbing his arms, and his face was white. He was shocked,” he added. 

The electricity also burned out a number of appliances and light fixtures, as well as the cable, power, phone and internet. 


“Take it for what it is that this can really happen to you. I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve never had a lightning experience like this,” he said. 

Thankfully, the family was able to repair the damages quickly and actually is already back inside the home. They are now looking into options to prevent things like this from happening in the future. 

“What I’ve heard since Tuesday, is that people put a ground rod in their home, they go as deep as 12 feet. So they can take the brunt of the charge of the pressure of that bolt,” said Fernandez. 


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