Lightning strike forces evacuation of nursing home

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SWANSEA, IL (KPLR) - While the St. Louis area is under a severe weather alert Sunday, weather is already making news. Just before 1 pm, lightning struck the Grand Manor assisted living facility in Swansea, Illinois.

No one was hurt, but all 88 residents were evacuated from the nursing home. Fire crews arriving on scene found smoke was coming from a roof alcove area.

It turned out lightning had hit the roof and started a small fire in an attic area. The fire alarm sounded, and staff began evacuating the residents, which encountered some problems with an elevator

Chief John McGuire, Swansea Fire Department: “When a fire alarm activates in a building like this the elevators are not operable and there was an issue with the override key. It posed a small problem but we carried those residents down from floor to floor to ground level.”

The fire was quickly put out, and no one was injured.  All but one of the residents are back in their rooms tonight.

Damage was limited to one room, that has smoke and water damage.