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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Wood family from Maidstone Road in Lenham left homeless after lightning sets their home on fire

19 July 2014
by James Walker

A Lenham family have been left homeless for at least two days after lightning set fire to their home and almost struck them.

The Wood family’s roof was 80 per cent destroyed by the bolt and housing provider Golding Homes have told them they cannot find alternative accommodation until Monday.

The situation could have been much worse - the family, which included two young boys aged three and two, were standing outside their Maidstone Road home in a semi circle watching the storm and had a bolt land inches in the middle of them.

The home has suffered extensive damage

The home has suffered extensive damage

The room they would have been sleeping in was badly destroyed by the fire.

Robyn Wood, 59, said: “I don’t want to think about what could have happened to my grand children, the main thing is no one was hurt.

“When I realised what had happened I went into a state of shock. I started shouting, shaking and feeling really ill.

“We were outside watching the lightning and thunder when all of a sudden this bolt landed in between us. A fork from the same bolt hit the aerial on the roof.

“We ran into the house for cover. It was a natural reaction, we had no idea the roof was on fire.

“We had no electricity so we went to our neighbours and that’s when we saw smoke coming from the loft.

“There’s nothing anybody can do to help us now because everywhere is closed. A man from Golding Homes arrived really quickly to help us and he tried really hard to find us a hotel but there were no rooms within a five or ten mile radius.

“He said that until Monday there’s nothing he can do. We can’t return to our home so we’re staying in our neighbours house.”

A lightning bolt from last night's storm

A lightning bolt from last night's storm

The family also had four dogs - three of which were in the garden at the time of the strike. 

The fourth, a blind jack russell, was in the kitchen while the house was on fire.

Martyn Wood, 19, placed a t-shirt over his head and ran into his house to save the dog before freeing a labrador and two lurchers from the garden.

He said: “As far as I’m concerned, the dogs are part of the family too. I had to save them.”

Kent Fire and Rescue Service at 9.27pm and did not leave the semi-detached house,which also suffered 30 per cent damage to the ground floor, until 1am.

The fire had threatened to spread to the neighbouring house but fell short - it did however fill a room with smoke.

This was cleared by specialist fans and the property suffered no further damage.

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