Family’s ‘lucky escape’ after lightning blows hole in roof

A lightening strike caused damage to a house in Katesbridge, Co Down.
A lightening strike caused damage to a house in Katesbridge, Co Down.

A Co Down woman whose house was struck by lightning during storms on Tuesday night has said her family had a “lucky escape”.

Brenda Higgins had just put her five-year-old son to bed when her house in Katesbridge was rocked by what she described as “a massive explosion”.

A lightening strike caused damage to a house in Katesbridge, Co Down.

A lightening strike caused damage to a house in Katesbridge, Co Down.

A hole was blown in the roof of the property, plugs were blown off the wall and a fire broke out after a lightning bolt struck an aerial around 10.45pm.

“There is now a huge hole in the roof of my eldest son’s bedroom,” she added.

“His bed is right below where the lightning hit. Thankfully he was downstairs getting something to eat at the time, or who knows what could have happened. It was a lucky escape.”

Recounting the terrifying ordeal, Brenda said: “We had no idea what happened initially.

Joseph (19) and Connor (16) Higgins who were in the house at the time, along with their parents.

Picture: PressEye / Philip Magowan

Joseph (19) and Connor (16) Higgins who were in the house at the time, along with their parents. Picture: PressEye / Philip Magowan

“My husband jumped out of bed and my two youngest boys, aged 5 and 13, were distraught.

“A fire had started where the lightning hit, but the rain kept it under control and we managed to get it put out quickly.

“I called the fire brigade and they came very quickly. It was a terrifying experience, especially with young children in the house.

“I am glad it didn’t happen in the middle of the night when we were all asleep.”

The interior of the house on Circular Road, Katesbridge

The interior of the house on Circular Road, Katesbridge

Classroom assistant Brenda said her family are now staying with relatives while the extent of the damage is assessed by insurers.

“There is debris everywhere and we have no electricity. I don’t know how long we will be out of the house for but the main thing is that we are all ok and no one was hurt,” she added.