Freak lightning causes £10k worth of damage

PUBLISHED: 13:03 05 July 2007 | UPDATED: 22:54 28 May 2010

Les Dixon with one of the broken tiles, and the large scar at the top of the building, both caused by the lightning strike.

Les Dixon with one of the broken tiles, and the large scar at the top of the building, both caused by the lightning strike.

Story by ADAM LAZZARI A FREAK lightning strike hit a Chatteris couple s home on Tuesday night, causing what has been estimated as more than £10,000 worth of damage. As Les Dixon, 42, and his girlfriend Linda Wakeling, 53, were tucking into a fish and chip

The lightning ripped through the plaster as it travelled down one of the inside walls.
Pictures: BRIAN PURDY

Story by ADAM LAZZARI

A FREAK lightning strike hit a Chatteris couple's home on Tuesday night, causing what has been estimated as more than £10,000 worth of damage.

As Les Dixon, 42, and his girlfriend Linda Wakeling, 53, were tucking into a fish and chip supper in their dining room at about 8.45pm, a bolt of lightning hit the top of their house, sending tiles flying as far as 200 yards into their neighbour's garden.

Miss Wakeling, whose son Luke is serving in Iraq with the Irish Guards, said: "There was an almighty bang that sounded like a gas explosion.

"The power of the flash was phenomenal and it left the house shaking and our ears ringing. We didn't know what was going on and both jumped on to the floor. It wasn't until we got up and walked out into the garden that we realised we had been hit by lightning.

"If my son is having to deal with loud explosions like that all the time he'll certainly need some tender loving care when he comes back."

The lightning hit the wooden part of the roof structure of the house at 6 Forty Foot Road and shattered through some of the brickwork.

The electricity was cut off, knocking out a television, stereo, DJ mixing desk and DVD player.

Plaster was also blown from the wall in the spare bedroom.

Mr Dixon, who is planning to start his own business as an electronics engineer, said: "I don't know the full extent of the structural damage yet, but it won't be cheap. With that and everything else I expect it will be at least £10,000. We are insured, but I'm not at all confident that we'll get it all back.

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