House partially destroyed in lightning strike as weekend of thunderstorms began

24 July 2021, 07:47 | Updated: 25 July 2021, 06:58

A house was struck by lightning ahead of a weekend of thunderstorms in England
A house was struck by lightning ahead of a weekend of thunderstorms in England. Picture: HIWFRS
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A house in Hampshire has been partially destroyed after being struck by lightning as a weekend of thunderstorms across England began.

An image posted on social media by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) showed the property's roof smoking after being hit in the storm.

The top floor of the building on Mercia Avenue in Andover - around 30 miles north of Southampton - appeared to suffer extensive damage.

Firefighters were sent to the house and were seen tackling the smoke as it billowed out the property's open roof.

A 70-year-old woman escaped unharmed after the lightning strike set her home on fire.

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She was assessed by paramedics but did not require hospital treatment, according to HIWFRS.

A spokesman said: "Crews from Whitchurch, Amesbury, Ludgershall, Winchester, Overton, Basingstoke and Rushmoor were called to Andover early this morning following a house struck by lightning.

"Two semi-detached houses were severely damaged in the incident.

"A 70-year-old female was assessed by ambulance crews on the scene but was not taken to the hospital.

"One aerial ladder platform and two 45mm jets were used at the incident."

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The spokesman added that fire crews were damping down the property following the strike.

Earlier, the fire service wrote on Twitter: "HIWFRS firefighters are on the scene in Mercia Avenue, Andover. After a house was struck by lightning.

"Please be advised there is a road closure in place at this incident."

Yellow thunderstorm warnings are in place across the south coast of England until midnight on Sunday.

Saturday is likely to see frequent lightning, thundery rain and continued strong, gusty winds in the areas covered by the thunderstorm warning, while there is a risk of large hail falling in a few places.

Met Office principal operational meteorologist Frank Saunders said: "The warnings in place over the weekend show a marked shift in the weather pattern for many southern areas as low pressure moves in, with potential impacts for business and the public.

"This more unsettled weather brings a risk of torrential downpours and flooding in some places.

"However, areas further north will cling on to see some fine weather through the weekend, although not quite as hot as recently."