Lincolnshire father of two tells of shock after lightning strike sets fire to his home
Article Written By: East Lindsey Target
A father of two has spoken of his shock after a lightning bolt smashed into his home and set it on fire.
Chris Powell was having a family dinner with his wife Nicola and two children at their home in West Keal Road, Old Bolingbroke on Saturday April 25, when the kitchen light suddenly exploded above their heads.
Lightning had struck the roof of the building above the children's playroom, which caught fire.
He said: "I didn't think much of it, but I came into the dining room and the neighbour's car alarm was going off. There was a brick on the floor outside and it was one of ours.
"I went up to the bedroom to see if there was anything up there and I could hear a popping and crackling sound. I looked out the window and there were flames coming out the roof."
Mr Powell told his family to get out of the house, but couldn't call 999 because the phone lines were down.
One of his neighbours alerted the fire service and crews from Spilsby, Horncastle, Skegness, Alford, Woodhall Spa and Boston were scrambled to tackle the blaze. They finally left the scene at around 11pm.
The blaze caused serious damage to the roof, playroom and rest of the top floor. The upstairs of the building suffered smoke damage, while carpets through the house were left sodden with water from the fire engines.
Mr Powell added that they will also have to replace the ceilings on the second floor.
"My family are the priority, my children are six and four and we had a new puppy too," he said. "Everyone is fine, just a bit shocked.
"You don't expect this to happen from a lightning strike, there are trees around bigger than the house, but it didn't hit them.
"You keep thinking what if it had happened at night, or if I hadn't seen the brick on the lawn I wouldn't have checked out of the window."
"We have managed to save a lot of things through cleaning and washing them. The main thing is that no one was hurt as things can be replaced.
"The house is only four-and-a-half years old, we built it and it's our first home as a family.
"The insulation of the building has helped to slow the fire down as it is not highly flammable and the fire doors helped to protect the rest of the house too."
Mr Powell said the fire service had been very supportive. The family have moved out and are currently staying in a friend's holiday home.
He added: "It could be 18 months before the house is sorted, because it has hit the attic, the ceiling also has to come off and the staircase is burned to a crisp.
"It is very shocking, my wife hasn't seen the full extent of it yet but she knows how bad it will be. We want to get it back to normal as soon as possible.
"One of the worst things is that we did build it and it was just about right but now the house is wrecked.
"What was frightening was how quickly the fire took hold, it is like your life dreams going up in smoke."
Published: Wednesday 29th April 2015
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