Families forced to evacuate as lightning strikes

Blyth lighning damage.
Blyth lighning damage.

Two families in Blyth had to be evacuated from their homes early Tuesday morning after their properties were struck by lightning.

Loft space was damaged when lightning struck houses in Trident Drive, including one boy’s bedroom.

Lisa Watson was woken up at around 5am by a loud thunder clap before an almighty crash followed.

She said: “I was woken up and I heard the thunder and knew it must have been close.

“I heard the first one, and then a second crash came and it was so loud I thought the house had been hit, but then I thought that would never have happened.

“You don’t think these things will happen to you.

“I heard my son upstairs and shouted up to him that it was OK, that it was just thunder and lightning.”

Lisa said there were then loud bangs on her door disturbing the family again.

But this time it was neighbours alerting them to what had happened.

They then heard people shouting ‘fire’ so Lisa, husband Jeff and 12-year-old son Jake, quickly evacuated the three-storey property.

She said: “I was just gobsmacked, I couldn’t believe it.

“What a start to the six weeks holiday.

“There are more storms forecast so we have just had to try and make the house water proof now, and we will stay at my mam’s for a few days.

“The loft space is damaged and my little boy’s bedroom has been damaged too, but next door is worse.”

Lisa was allowed back in the house at 9.30am on Tuesday, but says it is not liveable and they have no gas or electricity.

She added: “The whole neighbourhood has been so kind and helpful. It’s a really nice place to live, and if you want anything people help.

“There is a really good community spirit about the place and that has helped.”

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they attended houses that had been struck by lightning.

A spokesperson said: “A call was received at 5.06am on Tuesday, July 23, to report that a house in Trident Drive, Blyth, had been struck by lightning.

“Three fire appliances attended, two from West Hartford and one from Pegswood.

“Fire crews, two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus, dealt with a fire in the linked loft space of two of the houses in Trident Drive.

“A hose reel was used.

“Firefighters removed tiles from the roofs of the two houses and also checked adjacent houses for damage and fire.

“Fire investigation officers also attended.

“Fire crews left Trident Drive at 9.25am but returned to make further checks for hot spots throughout the morning.

“No injuries were reported during the incident.”