Retiree Angus has lucky escape after lightening hits his Colonsay home
A COLONSAY man has described his terror as lightning struck the chimney of his house, just two metres above where he was sleeping.
Friday the 13th, known as an unlucky day in Western superstition, certainly was for Angus MacPhee, 66, when he narrowly avoided being injured by the lightening, which struck the property on Squint Street, during storm Abigail.
A single bolt of lightning can carry anything between 100million and 1billion volts of electricity.
‘I was in the army for 12 years,’ said Angus, who has lived on Colonsay since 1997. ‘I’ve heard bombs and other types of explosions, but I’ve never heard a noise like that. It was terrifying and so loud that they heard it at the other end of the island.
‘It was about 2.25am on Friday the 13th of all days, and I heard this horrendous bang. It was lightning hitting the chimney, coming through the roof.’
Having had a few drinks before going to bed, Angus said the incident was a sobering experience.
‘I’d had a few whiskies but that sobered me up straight away. I didn’t run down the stairs, I practically fell down them,’ he said. ‘It blew my fuse box up, the television, Sky box, all my white goods and the whole electric circuitry. I had no heating after it. The roof is full of holes.
‘Thankfully I had my phone in my dressing gown, so I managed to call the fire brigade.
‘One of the electricians told me it was 100 million volts that came into the house – I was just two metres underneath it.’ As a tenant of Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA), Angus, who grew up in Paisley but whose grandfather was a native of Colonsay, was housed in temporary accommodation until being rehoused in Oban on Monday.
‘I can’t praise ACHA enough, they have been terrific,’ he said.
Alastair MacGregor, ACHA’s chief executive, said: ‘Mr MacPhee was the only ACHA tenant affected by the lightning. He was put up by the association in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation, but has accepted an offer of a permanent transfer to an ACHA property elsewhere.’
A spokesman for Scottish and Southern Energy said: ‘We have lightning protection equipment on our network, so when there is a lightning strike our equipment is protected. But ultimately we are battling nature and there are times the network can suffer damage caused by lightning.
‘There were 3,261 customers off supply on November 13 across Colonsay, Lochgilphead, Badenoch. Our apologies for the disruption and the inconvenience our customers suffered.’
The lightening damaged the chimney and roof of Angus