Moment lightning struck Upminster home sounded like an ‘explosion’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:14 07 August 2015

A house was struck by lightning. Picture: Ben Palmer

A house was struck by lightning. Picture: Ben Palmer


Neighbours have spoken of their shock after a pensioner’s home was struck by lightning, saying “it sounded like an explosion”.

The roof of a property in Humber Drive, Upminster, went up in smoke on Wednesday night, causing surrounding residents’ homes to experience electrical problems.

Neighbour Douglas Baxter said: “I just heard a loud bang which sounded like an explosion so I went outside to see what had happened.

“A lot of other people came out of their homes because they heard the same thing and we were all surprised by the amount of smoke coming from the house.”

Charles Woodford, 83, said: “I heard a terrific noise coming from outside and it wasn’t too long after that people started gathering and the fire engines arrived.

“I think a lot of the other houses were affected by the lightning as well because our phones and televisions are not working properly.”

Firefighters from Romford, Hornchurch, Dagenham and Harold Hill attended the house at 8.20pm after Ben Palmer, 15, alerted the emergency services.

He said: “I was in my room at the time, but when the lightning bolt struck, we felt the whole house shake.

“It was so loud that it was as if something had hit our house.

“We opened our front door to see what happened and when I saw the smoke I knew it must have been serious.”

Ben’s mum, Allison said: “We were just watching telly when all of a sudden we heard this big bang but we didn’t have a clue what it was.

“A few people have said that they saw a blue light outside their windows just before the lightning hit.

“Everyone was coming in and out of our house last night because we live directly opposite where it happened.

“We could see that the owner of the house was really distressed by the whole thing.”

Crews remained at the scene until they dampened the property down by about 9pm.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Life expectancy for men in Havering is falling, according to new data from the Office of National Statistics.

GPs in Havering will stop prescribing over the counter sleeping tablets, sunscreens and anti-malarial medication as part of a £3.75million cost-cutting drive.


Her agony and anger over the loss of young lives is palpable, as the mother of teenage knife victim Champion Ganda speaks to EMMA YOULE in the second of our special series on the far-reaching consequences of knife crime.

With the next chapter in the Star Wars series being released in cinemas today, Friday, December 15, it is the perfect time to celebrate with a one-off sci-fi event.


The parents of a young girl being treated for cancer at Queen’s Hospital have criticised the fact they have to pay for wi-fi access.

This week’s news from Ofsted, that Havering’s secondary schools are the second worst performing in London, will be an unwelcome surprise to many – much as it was to me.

The Metropolitan Police is reminding people to protect their homes from burglary during the Christmas period.

Yesterday, 17:00

A whole school community got in the festive spirit last week when it held its annual Christmas carol concert.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now