Lightning splits tree beside church

SALEM – It’s a good thing that at 20 years of age Evan Cosma still puts on his rubber boots when he’s out in inclement weather because they very well could have saved his life Thursday night.

As Sheldon Cosma, senior minister at Phillips Christian Church, looked out the kitchen window in the back of the church parsonage, a bolt of lightning blew apart an evergreen tree that stands about 40 feet away.

“The concussion was really something” Sheldon Cosma said.

His son Evan was working in a metal shed about 15-20 feet on the other side of the tree.

“My hair stood straight up,” the curly-haired Evan said calmly.

He continued to describe how the muscles in his torso and chest area tightened up and continued to be sore an hour or so after the strike.

“But I had my rubber boots on, so … ” he said with a grin.

The tree, which probably towers more than 80 feet tall, still stands, with the top blown completely off laying on the ground with just a small burn mark. The trunk of the tree is split down the middle from the top that exploded off down to the base of the tree.

Chunks and chards of wood are scattered around the back yard, some as far as 100 yards away.

“No one does fireworks like God,” Sheldon Cosma chuckled, ending the conversation.