Lightning strike set family’s roof on fire leaving it wrecked
The roof of a family home has been almost completely destroyed after lightning struck in last night’s thunderstorm.
Fire crews were dispatched to the property in Bowling Bank, Wrexham at around 1.23 am, Wednesday.
The fire service said that half the roof was destroyed during the blaze and water damage was caused to the entire property. Fortunately, nobody was injured.
Whilst nobody was injured, the family have spoke of their terror which resulted in the roof catching fire.
Megan Zahra, 23, was sleeping in the annexe at the home in Wrexham when a bolt that sounded “like a bomb going off” hit and sparked a fire on top of the building.
Mum Angela Rhodes and step-dad Neil Rhodes were sleeping in the main house building when they were woken by the storm raging overhead in the early hours of the morning.
The storm was so powerful it also knocked out some lights, the boiler and a TV.
Mrs Rhodes said: “We woke up about 1am and there was an almighty storm overhead, the noise and the lightning was unbelievable.”
“We were watching it out the window and then suddenly it was like a bomb went off – I have never heard anything like it in my life.
“And my husband, who never jumps, jumped out of his skin and he said ‘that’s hit something’.
Mr Rhodes looked out the window and saw what appeared to be a street light type glow on the annexe.
“He got to the back door and just shouted ‘dial 999’,” said Mrs Rhodes: “And ran across to the annexe, banged on the door and said ‘Megan get out its on fire’.
Megan was already awake, she had heard the noise, but hadn’t realised the lightning had sheared through a beam and set the roof on fire. She evacuated the building.
Rhodes tried to tackle the simmering blaze with a hose pipe before the fire service arrived and extinguished it.
“It was just simmering from the inside in the roof. The roof didn’t look damaged, I don’t know how the lightning got through, but the fire service said it had sliced through the main beam.”
Megan, who used to play as a goalkeeper for Manchester United in the Girls Centre for Excellence, had recently come home from a five-year stay in Australia and was staying in the annexe.
She said: “It was like a massive gunshot – you could feel it in your chest.
“You wouldn’t have thought it would be in the annexe, so I checked out the window and couldn’t see anything, so I got back in to bed.
“Then my step-dad came and said I needed to get out.
“I was a bit shocked, you don’t expect something like that to happen, but I still went to work at 5am and got on with it.”
Mrs Rhodes said she was glad her daughter was unhurt and is fearing when the next storm comes.
“Me and Megan are best friends. It just don’t bear thinking about if anything worse had happened,” she said.
“Everybody says that lightning never strikes in the same place, but how are you going to sit through a storm now? I am dreading it.”
A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We were called at 1.25am to reports that a roof was on fire after being hit by lightning.
“Two appliances from Wrexham went to the scene and used two hose reels and two breathing apparatus to deal with it.
“It caused 50% fire damage to the roof of the property.”