‘It was like something from an alien film’ an eyewitness described seeing a lightning bolt set fire to a Heanor house this morning.
Smoke plumed into the air after lightning reportedly ricocheted off a house on Balmoral Close and struck a property opposite at around 9am this morning.
Five fire engines from Ilkeston and Heanor were called to the scene - by which time the three adults and one child living there had been evacuated.
None were injured but the family are said to be very shocked according to station manager for the North Area Response Team of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, Richard Barker.
He said: “There was a lightning impact which we think has struck the house opposite and rebounded onto the home that was on fire.
“The people opposite described it as a car hitting the house.”
Mr Barker said he had spoken to the family, who initially thought a bulb had gone in the house, before running outside to see the top of the house ablaze.
A large portion of the roof has been destroyed.
Currently firefighters are currently checking for hotspots in the roof space using a cherry picker. An engineer has been called to the property to assess the structural damage.
Heanor Gate Science College pupil Nathan Hird, 16, of Kensington Avenue, described what he saw and heard.
He said: “I was in bed at about 9am and I just heard this massive explosion - it just shocked me I though it was thunder at first.
“I looked out the window and there was smoke coming from the house.
Molly Gilbert, 15, of Buckingham Drive was nearby when the bolt struck.
She said: “All we could hear was this massive bang.”
Connor Hodgett, 14, of Sovereign Way said he saw a ‘beam of light’ when the lightning hit. “It just looked like something from an alien movie,” he added.
More updates to follow.