A Colorado man who videotaped Monday night’s thunderstorm from the safety of his garage found out the hard way that the garage did not provide as much protection as he initially thought.
Chad Greenlees was standing in his garage, on the 8400 block of West 78th Circle, recording the hail and lightning on his cell phone, when a lightning bolt knocked him out.
“I kind of stumbled back and fell through the door,” Greenlees said.
His daughter, Ileah, told ABC15's sister station 7NEWS that she heard a crash, ran over and found her father convulsing on the floor.
“At first, I thought he was joking because that’s the kind of person my Dad is,” she said. “But when he turned as white as a ghost, that’s when I knew something wasn’t right.”
Ileah yelled for her mom to call 911.
“I thought I was going to lose him,” said Greenlees’ wife, Emmy. “It was scary.”
When asked if he took a direct hit, Greenlees said, “No. There are no entry or exit burns.”
He said doctors theorize that the strike was close enough to give him a concussion.
“It blew me back a little bit,” he said. “I got either a fork or offshoot of the bolt or a ground travel.”
The Arvada man says he smelled an electrical burn and felt a tingling sensation just before the bolt hit.
He said the next thing he remembers is paramedics asking him questions.
“I try to teach my kids not to take chances and to be safe,” he said. “I thought I was safe and now, I’ll rethink that.”
Greenlees says his body still aches from the strike.
“It’s like the sensation you get from licking a 9 volt battery,” he said, “but it’s all over your body.”
He said in addition to the overall body ache, he still has a ringing sensation in one of his ears.
He adds that doctors say he’s going to be okay.
“I was scared to death,” he told 7NEWS. “I’m grateful that I survived.”
“I’m really glad my dad is still here,” said Greenlees’ son, Connor. “Lightning is not a thing to mess with.”
Greenlees said he’ll be much more reluctant to videotape the next storm.
Emmy says he may not get a chance. She says she may hide his cell phone the next time she hears thunder.