A lightning strike to a Maples apartment block forced approximately 20-30 people from their suites, as a wicked summer thunderstorm passed through parts of the city this morning.
The first unit of the Adsum Square Apartment complex at 310 Adsum Dr. was evacuated just after 9 a.m. as fire crews inspected the upper part of the three-storey structure.
Witnesses say lightning struck the building and sent an electrical surge through the building. The fire alarm sounded, and crews inspected the building to make sure the triggered alarm was from the surge and not from any underlying fire inside.
"One guy on the first floor said he saw it (the lightning) flash across the ceiling," said one tenant, waiting patiently on the other side of the street.
Fire crews were focused on a second-floor suite, with a ladder truck standing by. No smoke was visible but water was seen pouring out off the balcony of the suite.
There were no injuries.
Caretaker Torey Lasko said the building shook when the lightning strike hit.
"It was definitely lightning; it was pretty loud," she said. "I’m guessing the lightning made its way through the building and started a small fire that way.
"Hopefully there isn’t too much damage."
Lasko said there are 36 suites in the complex. About 20-30 people were evacuated as crews inspected the building. Winnipeg Transit was on hand as an emergency shelter.
The strike to the apartment block was the headline act from the brief but intense thunderstorm that hit Winnipeg this morning. Heavy rains and a steady diet of lightning were prevalent during the 30 minute storm.