Beds, Herts & Bucks

Firefighters tackle Shortstown lightning strike roof fire

Shortstown fire Image copyright Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption The third floor of the house caught fire when its roof was struck by lightning

A woman whose house was struck by lightning said it was "lucky" her property was hit or her neighbours' children could have been hurt.

About 30 firefighters were called to Arnold Way in Shortstown in Bedfordshire at about 07:00 BST.

The fire service said it managed to contain the fire to the roof space and third floor of the three-storey house.

Homeowner Jenny Bottoms said some of her neighbours have children sleeping in those top rooms.

She said it was lucky she just had "material possessions" in the top room.

"Thank God it hit my house and none of my neighbours that do have children sleeping in those top rooms," she said.

"It was lucky that it was us, for the sake of other people's children."

Image caption Jenny Bottoms, who has lived in the house since January, and her dog were unharmed

Ms Bottoms said she went downstairs to check on her dog after hearing a "really loud thunderclap".

"Then the smoke alarms started going off, I thought that might have been from where plugs had sparked," she added.

"I went into the kitchen and the mains water had burst so that was flooding the kitchen, I came out of the front door and my neighbours were all telling me to get out because the house was on fire, they could see smoke from the roof."

Image caption The fire service said the chances of having your property struck by lightning are "extremely rare"

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue said the fire was under control by about 08:15.

Group commander Jason Tai said: "The chances of having your property struck by lightning are extremely rare.

"The fire is under control and the damage to the roof is contained just to the second floor [third storey].

"Now we are in the process of removing the tiles from the top of the roof, identifying any remaining hotspots underneath to extinguish those."

Image copyright Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption Crews remain at the scene to check for hotspots

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