THE OWNER of a house in Alcester Road, Hollywood, which was struck by lightning in last night’s thunderstorm has spoken of his shock following the incident.
He and his partner, who have two children and a dog, were awoken by the rain and had gone to watch it.
At 12.59am, as they went to go back to bed a lightning bolt struck their TV aerial and blew the loft hatch door completely off its hinges- the pair had a very lucky escape as ten seconds before they would have been underneath it.
The man said: “There was a massive bang and a flash and the loft hatch door was ripped off.
“A mirror had also been smashed by the debris.
“We called the fire service and a crew was there within minutes.
“While the firefighters were on their way we got the kids dressed and went outside to wait.”
A crew from Redditch Fire Station attended and cleared the smoke logged house using ‘Positive Pressure Ventilation’ equipment and used thermal imaging cameras checked there were no ‘hotspots’.
He added: “When we went back inside we saw a lot of the sockets had been blown out and everything attached to the TV – the Virgin Media Box and the Playstation – was completely wrecked.
“We had a surge protector fitted a couple of years ago and I think this prevented it getting to the fuse box and probably saved most of the house.”
The wire in the loft which had carried the current led to a coat – hanging on a beam – catching fire and caused the smoke.
“I asked one of the firefighters if he attended a lot of these incidents and he said it was the first one he had seen in his career.
“The insurance company and the firm who will be repairing the damage said the same thing.”
Statistics online suggest there is a 1 in 200 chance of a house being struck by lightning – but the figures relate to the US where there are more storms so the odds of it happening in the UK are more than likely longer.
The homeowner is looking on the positive side that ‘it could have been worse’ and added: “I might have a go on the lottery’.