Family flee lightning strike terror

NEIGHBOURS today told how a young family were forced to flee their Ipswich home carrying their screaming child after lightning blew a hole in their roof.

Simon Tomlinson

NEIGHBOURS today told how a young family were forced to flee their Ipswich home carrying their screaming child after lightning blew a hole in their roof.

The powerful bolt blew a six-foot wide hole in the roof of the house in Wentworth Drive at around 10pm yesterday.

It is believed the strike caused part of a ceiling to collapse into the bedroom of a frightened young boy and water began leaking into the house.

The shocked family and other residents ran out into the street to see what had happened.

Maddie Britton, one of the neighbours, said: “There was thunder, then this massive bang which sounded like a car crash or a window smash.”

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Another, Gina Britton, said: “The little boy was screaming. He was probably about five years old. I saw the mother carrying him out of the house.

“Everyone was outside talking to each other.”

Another neighbour said the lightning had hit the corner of the roof of the semi-detached house.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: “Some of the ceiling must have come into the child's bedroom. They rushed out and were very shocked but nobody was injured.

“I think there was a water leak and they had trouble stopping the flow.”

He said fire officers arrived shortly after the strike and secured the roof.

The family were believed to have stayed elsewhere overnight.

The lightning strike came as a number of thunderstorms brought torrential rain and lightning last night.

Evening Star weather man Ken Blowers said: “There was a mass of thunderstorms that moved up from France and came up the east side of East Anglia.

“In the Ipswich area there was 0.66 of an inch of rain which fell in one-and-a-half hours. It was torrential.

“This was the heaviest rain since July 9. There was incessant and quite vivid lightning.”

Mr Blowers said another depression was coming from the west which was likely to bring more rain over the weekend.