EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It was a terrifying day at a pool in New Jersey Wednesday after a lightning strike trapped swimmers in the park.
“I saw like lightening and then there was a huge thunder and people were saying like ‘there’s something on fire, one of telephone polls are smoking,'” lifeguard Alex Pearlman told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
Police said a downed wire on a fence was what was on fire at the Crystal Springs Aquatic Center in East Brunswick.
“When our personnel responded, there was a downed power line, which was actually in contact with the fence around the facility — which was charging the fence,” Deputy Police Chief William Krause, Jr. said.
“Lightning struck, it was really a loud crack and I looked behind and there was a huge flame,” Joe Pearlman said.
Seventy five terrified people using the pool were evacuated and kept away from the fence.
“I saw a fire and they said you couldn’t touch a fence or else you’d be electrocuted,” another boy at the pool said.
“It was very scary, I don’t know what would happen. The only thing I did was stay away from the fence,” Jordan Perez said.
Finally, after an hour, everyone was allowed to leave being thankful that there were no injuries.
“My ride’s been sitting out here, waiting to pick us up, and we couldn’t even walk out,” Nancy Deoliveira said.
Emergency crews immediately shut off power before the fire just burned out.
“For a power line to fall down on a fencing is quite unusual,” emergency management coordinator, Austin Kosik, Jr., said.
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