Brooklyn park owners struggle with cleanup after house was struck by lightning

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4:34 p.m. | Thursday, June 23, 2022

A Brooklyn Park family is trying to get back on their feet after lightning destroyed their home last month. The Bergemann family say a giant lightning bolt shook the house after it hit a huge cotton poplar tree in their backyard.

“I was scared,” said 9-year-old Keira Bergemann. “As soon as I heard the bang, I gave up and stuff started falling on top of me.”

Although it has been a month, the cleaning and restoration is progressing slowly. Sheetrock and debris are scattered throughout the house. Ken Bergemann says his insurance company, Safeco Liberty Mutual, is leaving the family in limbo.

“Everything came to an abrupt halt after that first week, and literally nothing has been done inside the house yet,” he said.

The interior of the Bergemann House looks like a war zone after a lightning strike in May.

Bergemann says it’s estimated around $20,000 to remove the damaged tree. The family fears further destruction could occur if the tree remains.

“If this tree falls, it will take the life of someone in this house,” he said.

The owner wants the insurance company to pay for the move, but that’s unlikely to happen. CCX News contacted Liberty Mutual and told us the company does not publicly discuss individual claims.

A spokesperson for the Minnesota Insurance Federation says homeowners insurance policies don’t insure fallen trees unless they’re on the house.

“It’s a bit of a different case, though, because it’s a very big tree right next to the house, and so there could be a hazard, an added hazard to the house because of the tree, and in that case, it’s likely he’ll pay to cut the tree down or do it, so it’s no longer a danger,” said Mark Kulda, vice president of public affairs for the Minnesota Insurance Federation. .

Meanwhile, the family wants to get back to normal. The family set up a GoFundMe to help cover costs.

“My life right now is about trying to get things done in this house, not spending time with my daughter,” Bergemann said.

Brooklyn Park

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