Damage is latest heartache for Stillers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2011

By Shelley Smith
A 200-year-old oak tree, in the backyard of Jimmy and Cindy Stiller on Bringle Ferry Road, was struck by lightning during Tuesday night’s storms.
“We had a lot of damage,” Cindy Stiller said. “You can actually see where the lightning came into the tree. It shot branches through an upstairs window.”
An emotional Stiller said the past seven months have been one heartache after another. Her house caught fire in November after she overcooked a chicken.
“Everything had to be removed and it was a total nightmare,” she said, adding that she still hadn’t cleaned up her house from the fire when the lightning struck overnight.
And after the house fire, her husband, Jimmy, received hot water burns over 35 percent of his body while on the job at National Starch. He spent 16 days at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and then many more weeks recovering.
Cindy Stiller said the lightning must have hit the house, too, because she lost all of her telephones, televisions and computers — even some of her electrical outlets are fried.
Rowan County Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason said the overnight storms did cause scattered power outages, but only a few went without power. No major damages were reported, he said.