Lightning strike blasts hole in roof

A COUPLE were forced to flee their Ipswich home carrying their screaming child after lightning blew a hole in their roof.

A COUPLE 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 11.30pm 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.

Fire officers arrived shortly after the strike and secured the roof, covering the hole with tarpaulin.

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

Firefighters struggled against tough weather conditions to patch up the giant hole.

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A crew from Princes Street were called to the scene at 11.32pm to investigate and ensure that there was no sign of fire in the building.

Upon arrival, the crew requested assistance in sealing a six foot by four foot hole in the roof.

An engine from Fire headquarters and another from Princes Street joined the team already at the house.

Crews used a nine metre ladder, a roof ladder and a turntable ladder to temporarily mend the hole.

At 1.16am the house was deemed safe.

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.

For full story see today's Evening Star.