Fact Check

Did Lightning Shock a Teacher's Laptop During Online Class?

Avoid using plugged-in electrical devices during lightning storms.

Published May 12, 2021

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A woman in Guthrie, Oklahoma, was shocked while using a laptop to teach an online course during a lightning storm.

A resident of Guthrie, Oklahoma, was teaching an online class using a laptop during an electrical storm when a surge from the storm gave her a shock through the computer, according to local news reports.

News station KOCO 5 identified the woman only as Carrie, reporting that neighbors witnessed two bolts hit the woman's home and cause two holes in the roof:

Neighbors told the woman that two bolts hit the house, caused the deck to catch fire and sent shingles flying all the way to the curb. The woman, named Carrie, was teaching an online class on a laptop, and the lightning came through it and shocked her.

Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow told Snopes in an email that the woman suffered only a minor electrical shock and declined to be taken to the hospital.

Harlow also cautioned that using electrical devices plugged in to outlets during lightning storms can be dangerous, "simply because the wiring in a home provides an easy conduit for the lightning's electrical charge to travel through."

KOCO 5's report on the incident can be viewed here:


Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more