By Bob Uphues
Norma and Tony Lovett were sitting in the living room of their first-floor condo at 8915 Burlington Ave. in Brookfield at about 2 p.m. on Sept. 3, watching "The Godfather" on TV. Sonny had just been gunned down, and Norma was at the edge of her seat.
"I thought that was scary," she said. "And then this."
"This" was a bolt of lightning, which struck a parapet wall atop the two-story, four-unit building, and blew bricks and concrete clear across Burlington Avenue, into the parking spaces on the north side of the street.
"I never heard lightning so damn loud," said Tony Lovett. "I thought a bomb went off in the building. It was like ka-boom! The whole living room lit up, pure white."
The power flickered for a moment, but never really went out. Norma, who is president of the building's condo association, and Tony, who is vice president, went back to watching the movie until a neighbor came over to report smoke outisde.
"So I come out and there's bricks all over the place," Tony Lovett said.
But the smoke, it turned out, wasn't related to a fire on the roof. Despite the fact all four units were occupied at the time of the lightning strike, which scored a direct hit on the parapet wall atop the front facade, no one was hurt and the building does not appear to have suffered any structural damage, said Brookfield building inspector Paul Trudeau, who responded to the scene.
Bricks from the parapet wall tore through the canvas awning over the front entrance and crashed through a plastic bench outside the Lovetts' patio door.
"It's amazing nobody got hurt and the roof is still intact," Tony Lovett said.