You have a large amount of damage that should have not happened. You
should really try hard to figure out why. After you get all this
repaired, it would be nice to know why this happened and that you
corrected that problem that allowed that to happen. Your insurance
company won't be happy to see you returning for a second claim of this
size either. It's difficult to make good suggestions just looking at
the pictures because it is difficult to see the "big wiring picture".
Making wild guesses is unlikely to help. From all the burn marks on AC
outlets and the main AC panel, it is obvious that the AC wiring
conducted a huge amount of current thru your house. Try to figure where
the path is that allowed it to get there. I can see one possibility of
it entering the tower control box and then down the AC wiring, but I
don't know where that wiring goes or how it is routed.
I see the entrance panel but it is unclear where that is located. It
appears to be inside the house somewhere. I can't see how long the
ground wire is from the entrance panel to the AC service ground rod.
I can see three ground wires leaving the tower but I don't know how many
ground rods are used. In one picture it appears that one of those
ground wires (the stranded one) is blown in two. Is that true (or just
an illusion in the photo)? If so, I would want to know why.
Look to see if there are any other burn marks on other objects outside
the house, like outside AC outlet boxes, water spigots, chimney (which
usually has a metal liner), roof vents, or even concrete walls (which
has rebar in many places). Maybe there was a secondary finger that
attached itself to one of those items. Also if for some reason the
tower ground was poor, the tower could have possibly been elevated to
such a high potential that a side flash occurred.
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