Saturday 18 August 2018

Lightning strike sets house ablaze as massive electrical storm sparks chaos

The family home that was burned out after it was struck by lightning. Picture: Provision
The family home that was burned out after it was struck by lightning. Picture: Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A family with two young children had a lucky escape when their house caught fire after a lightning strike at the height of one of the biggest electrical storms ever witnessed over Ireland's south coast.

The Cork family were awoken by the sound of a loud 'bang' shortly after 1am. The father immediately realised the roof of their two-storey home near Ballymacoda had just been struck by lightning. He rushed his wife and two children, a toddler and a four-year-old, to the safety of a neighbour's house and rang Cork Fire Brigade.

Four units from Youghal and Midleton raced to the scene and fought the blaze at the property just outside Ballymacoda and a short distance from the popular seaside town of Youghal.

"From what I heard this morning in the village, the lightning strike was like an explosion on the roof," one local man said.

"It caused a lot of damage to the roof and that's where they believe the fire started and then spread around the upper part of the house."

No one was injured in the fire thanks to the quick-thinking of the young father in rushing his family to safety.

The electrical storm was one of the biggest witnessed over Cork, Kerry and Waterford in recent years. It was accompanied by torrential thunder showers, which resulted in localised flooding in some areas.

Lightning strikes also caused problems with the electrical network across the south-west.

The ESB confirmed it was attending to a number of line faults linked to lightning strikes, particularly in the Killeagh, Castlemartyr and Youghal areas, where the concentration of lightning strikes was greatest.

Lighting strikes at Stansted Airport in the UK also caused problems for Irish travellers with delays to numerous flights caused by damage to a refuelling system at the airport during the storm. More than 200 planes were delayed at the London airport after a thunderstorm and lightning strikes overnight.

The humid weather seen across the country over recent days is set to continue, although there will also be good spells of sunshine and high temperatures.

Met Éireann predicts the mercury will reach up to 25C today.

 

Irish Independent

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