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Lightning strikes cause serious structural damage to homes

What are the odds of your home being struck by lightning? Three UK homes were hit by lightning bolts within a few hours during dramatic thunderstorms.

Lightning storms and giant hailstones caused damage to several properties, with the North East of England particularly affected by the adverse weather.

On Thursday last week a lightning bolt caused serious damage to a house in the Ferryhill area of County Durham while another home was struck in Newcastle damaging the roof.

Neighbours witnessed lightning strike the home in Ferryhill and heard a loud bang as the bolt hit the roof tiles and started a fire. The roof and upstairs of the property have been completely destroyed, while the ground floor of the home has been flooded. Luckily the family were all out at the time of the strike but the family pet – a 15 year old cat called Alan was rescued by fire fighters.

The property struck by lightning in Newcastle also caught alight and owner Lorraine Gibson was in the property at the time. She reported hearing a loud bang like an explosion as the home was hit.

Lightning had hit the roof of the home where she has lived for 25 years and sparked a fire in the loft space and the second floor of the building.

Mrs Gibson's clothes, personal belongings and family photographs were all lost in the fire.

Another house was hit by a lightning bolt during the early hours of Friday morning this time in the South East of England. Part of the roof collapsed after the strike took out some structural timbers and a wall also collapsed onto a neighbours car.

Sections of the roof fell onto bedroom ceilings sending them crashing down just 5 minutes after the family had escaped from the property after hearing loud bangs and seeing flames in the loft space.

Specialists in Construction Insurance

Yet another home was hit near Durham City after further storms on Sunday evening. The roof again caught on fire after a bolt hit the apex, but brave witnesses battled the flames with a ladder and hosepipe before fire crews arrived.

Some of those who avoided the lightning strikes suffered with other types of damage from the storms which followed the hottest July day ever recorded with temperatures reaching 37C.

It is estimated that around 19,000 lightning strikes occurred during the storms which lit up the night sky before leaving more the 57,000 homes without power in areas of Durham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

Giant hailstones bigger than 50 pence pieces also fell from the sky around the North East and Yorkshire causing damage to properties.

A property owner in County Durham fears he is facing a repair bill that will go into thousands of pounds after his conservatory roof was smashed by the giant hailstones.

A nursery business owner in Richmond, North Yorkshire fears over 5,000 glass panes have been broken in his greenhouses by hail the size of golf balls.

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