Moment lightning struck Upminster home sounded like an ‘explosion’

A house was struck by lightning. Picture: Ben Palmer

A house was struck by lightning. Picture: Ben Palmer - Credit: Archant

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.

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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.

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