MINERAL WELLS - Three people were checked out by EMS crews Wednesday after two separate lightning strikes at the West Virginia Interstate Fair and Exposition in Mineral Wells.
Eastwood volunteer firefighters, who are trained EMTs, and Wood County sheriff's deputies stationed at the fair were alerted to the lightning strike around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Brothers Keith and Kyle Townsend, 17 and 19, of Belleville were putting up an awning on their family's camper near the 4-H building when the lightning struck.
The electricity went through both of them and went into the ground, Kyle said.
Keith said it went in through their arms and out through their feet.
''By the time we got (the awning) up, the lighning came down and we got hammered,'' Kyle said.
The brothers said their feet were burned and starting to blister.
''They are pretty swollen too,'' Keith said. ''We have burn marks running across our feet.''
They said they were still in some pain Wednesday night before the hog showing, but they insisted they were doing fine.
''We got a hog show,'' Keith said ''We didn't spend all year working just to sit around and watch it.
''We are going to show our hogs.''
If it gets worse, they said they would go, after the show, to the hospital to be checked out.
The two brothers were checked at the scene by Eastwood and Mineral Wells EMS crews after the lightning strike. They were not transported to the hospital.
''We decided to just toughen up and get it over with it,'' Keith said. ''It is hurting, but we just know better than to show emotion.''
In a separate incident, an elderly man with a pacemaker was reportedly sitting near a metal pole when lightning struck it. He asked to be checked by EMTs as a precaution, but was uninjured, Sheriff Jeff Sandy said.
Including those checked out Wednesday, five people have been treated for lightning strike injuries in Wood County this month. A young man struck by lightning last week at a church camp in Parkersburg received treatment at the West Penn Burn Center and is expected to recover.
Another man was taken to a local hospital as a precaution Tuesday when he was struck by lightning at a Vienna auto shop.
According to the National Weather Service, an average of 54 people are killed each year by lightning.
To avoid the dangers of lightning, weather officials urge people to go into a fully enclosed building or a hard-topped vehicle immediately during a thunderstorm. Once inside, stay away from showers, sinks and electronic equipment.
If shelter cannot be reached during a storm, avoid water and high ground, and do not go near metal equipment or power lines.