Lots of Storm Damage in Woburn, Mass.

Trees land on apartment building, pool, several homes as lightning strike sparks electrical fire at commercial building

Among the Massachusetts communities hardest hit by Monday’s wild weather was this city along Route 128 northwest of Boston, where dozens of trees were toppled – one landing on an apartment building, another on a backyard pool – and a commercial building burned in an electrical fire apparently triggered by a lightning strike.

Oak trees 60 feet tall fell on a two-story brick apartment building at Bedford and Cambridge Roads, close to the Burlington line, about 6:30 p.m. as the second of two violent weather systems moved from west to east, bringing lightning and intense winds. While it did not appear there was major structural damage, residents of the affected building were offered rooms in a nearby hotel for the night and in anticipation of tree crews and maintenance workers having a busy day Tuesday.

Also on Bedford Road, a tree crushed the above-ground pool of Jill and Bill Brown. Jill Brown said she was astonished by the force and ferocity of the wind coming through. “It was something I have never seen before,” she said. “It was very strange.”

George Boujoukis, who lives across the street from the Bedford Road apartments, said he was surprised by how fierce the storm was and how much damage it did – and how quickly it then moved off. “I had no idea it was going to do this much damage,” Boujoukis said. “I just thought it was another rain storm.”

Also in Woburn, fire crews battled a blaze at 5 Conn Street, a commercial and industrial building a block off Main Street. Fire Chief Timothy Ring said he believed the cause was a lightning strike that dropped the electric service line onto the building, setting it on fire. Crews were hampered by having to wait for NStar to come shut off the power before they could safely begin dousing the building with water to stop the fire.

With videographers Daniel A. Valente Jr. and John J. Hammann

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