Light­ning strike de­stroys home

Blast that set fire to roof was ‘like a bomb’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

THESE dra­matic im­ages show how a blaze caused by a light­ning strike tore through a fam­ily home.

Flames up to ‘20 feet’ high shot through the sky on Fri­day Septem­ber 16 as crews from across Bucks bat­tled the blaze at The Brow, Chal­font St Giles.

John Eng­land de­scribed the mo­ment the light­ning hit as sound­ing like a bomb. The home­owner, said he went into ‘sur­vival mode’ to get his daugh­ter, her hus­band and their young daugh­ter out of the house as they were stay­ing over at the time.

His eight-year-old grand­daugh­ter has been left ‘very up­set’ by the fire which has gut­ted the

I can re­mem­ber the war, it re­minded me of the doo­dle­bugs

en­tire top floor.

He said the noise re­minded him of World War Two, and added that it could take up to a year be­fore he can live in the house again.

He had been check­ing on his grand­daugh­ter in the other room just sec­onds be­fore the light­ning strike hit the house.

He said: “I was just get­ting back into bed and the whole house ab­so­lutely shook.

“I lifted the hatch to get into the loft and smoke came pour­ing out.”

He added: “I can re­mem­ber the war – it re­minded me of doo­dle­bugs.”

Re­tired Mr Eng­land also said he had felt some­thing drip­ping on him in the night and re­mem­bers think­ing that it was odd.

The whole house has been de­stroyed and will have to be en­tirely ren­o­vated. “To­tal dam­age,” he said. “Only four walls will be left.”

Call­ing it ‘quite an ex­pe­ri­ence’ he said: “I was all packed and ready to go to St Ives, Corn­wall, for my hol­i­day.”

He added: “In­stead of be­ing in sunny St Ives I’m here in smoky Chal­font St Giles.”

Tina Den­nis, his daugh­ter, said she heard a crack ‘quite close by’ and her daugh­ter heard the rain all night.

Tor­ren­tial storms hit Eng­land on Thurs­day night, bat­ter­ing parts of the coun­try with heavy rain­fall.

Flash foods and land­slides caused chaos for com­muters and fam­i­lies, with an early morn­ing train from Mil­ton Keynes to Lon­don Eus­ton de­railed as it hit a land­slip.

Mr Eng­land thanked his neigh­bours for their help: “All the neigh­bours have been fan­tas­tic,” he added.

‘To­tal dam­age’: The blaze takes hold of John Eng­land’s home in Chal­font St Giles. Right and blow, the chaos and mess left by the blaze

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