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Lightning bolt: Gardaí from checkpoint help to save home from blaze

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Response: Firefighters deal with the aftermath of the lightning strike at Kevin and Breda Clifford’s home. Photo: Press 22

Response: Firefighters deal with the aftermath of the lightning strike at Kevin and Breda Clifford’s home. Photo: Press 22

Response: Firefighters deal with the aftermath of the lightning strike at Kevin and Breda Clifford’s home. Photo: Press 22

Gardaí staffing a Covid-19 checkpoint helped save a family home from destruction after a lightning strike caused it to catch fire.

Kevin and Breda Clifford have been left devastated after the "one-in-a-million chance" incident at their home near Kilbehenny in south Co Limerick resulted in thousands of euro of damage.

Five fire trucks tackled the blaze at their home for more than three hours and it is likely the entire roof will need to be replaced.

Their home's gable-end wall saw a large break, Mr Clifford said.

"Lightning hit the house, basically. It bust out the gable-end wall and set fire to our roof. The sitting room, it's burnt the roof off that. It's burnt half the roof off the house," he said.

When the incident occurred at around 5pm on Saturday, Mr Clifford, a welder, was outside changing a tyre on his quad, while his wife was inside the house.

As soon as he saw what happened, he said, "adrenaline kicked in".

"The guards were on a checkpoint near enough to us so they were here within a matter of seconds. The fire brigade were here within 20 minutes of it happening. So the response was very good in fairness," he said.

"It's not the thing you expect to happen."

Irish Independent