Neighbor warns Watford family about lightning strike house blaze

Neighbor warns Watford family about lightning strike house blaze
Neighbor warns Watford family about lightning strike house blaze

Image source, South Beds News Agency

Image caption, A fire on the roof of a Watford house was thought to have been caused by lightning
Article information
  • Author, Harriet Heywood & South Beds News Agency
  • Role, BBC News, Hertfordshire
  • 2 May 2024, 08:44 BST

    Updated 23 minutes ago

A man whose house was struck by lightning said if it was not for a neighbor banging on his door about a blaze in his roof, the ceiling “could have collapsed on us.”

Ali Shah, 59, said his wife and daughter were woken by a storm early in the morning in Watford after he tripped the electricity.

The family went back to bed, but 10 minutes later a neighbor warned them to get out of the house.

Mr Shah said there was “a lot of damage”, but his family was “unbelievably fortunate”.

‘You need to get out’

Hertfordshire fire service sent four vehicles and an aerial platform to the house on Cassiobury Drive just before 05:30 BST.

The Met Office issued a number of thunderstorm warnings for the area overnight, with them continuing into Thursday.

Image source, Weather Watchers/mofeelu

Image caption, Thunderstorms have taken place across Hertfordshire, including this one over Croxley Green

Mr Shah, a technology consultant, said the alarm in his house started bleeding when the electrics went off.

“I thought nothing more of it and went back to bed,” he said.

“Ten minutes later I heard a banging on the door. I came down and a woman said there was smoke billowing out of your house – ‘You need to get out now.'”

He told a policeman happened to be passing by and helped the family escape, and the fire service turned up about five minutes later.

Crews took about 45 minutes to put out the blaze.

“The fire officer said if that lady had not knocked on the door and you had gone back to sleep, the roof could have collapsed on us.”

Image source, South Beds News Agency

Image caption, Damage was caused throughout the roof of the property

Image source, South Beds News Agency

Image caption, The fire service turned up shortly after the alarm was raised

Watch commander Mark Woodward, from Watford Fire Station, said: “Our crews were faced with a fairly substantial fire on the roof.

“We sent two teams in breathing apparatus to attack the fire from inside the building, and they were able to successfully stop the fire before it spread too far.

“From talking to the residents and looking at the pattern of the fire, we believe the fire was started by a lightning strike.”

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