Family left without television after home hit by lightning

WHILE millions watched the Olympic men’s 100m final on TV, a Long Sutton family was counting the cost after a real lightning bolt hit their home.

There was no marvelling at Usain Bolt’s success for Louise Chambers and her family after lightening put out their TV, internet and telephone line on Saturday.

Miss Chambers, of Hospital Drove, was busy in her kitchen just before 4.30pm when she heard a loud bang from a play room which turned out to be a phone socket exploding onto the carpet.

The experience has proved so frightening that Miss Chambers’ three children, aged seven, five and 16 months, are reluctant to go anywhere without her.

She said: “I was in the kitchen and the children were in one of the play rooms with my partner when there was the loudest bang you’ve ever heard in your life.

“All the light bulbs smashed and it was all dark, so we couldn’t see anything.

“We knew it was lightening but we just stood there wondering what was going on.

“I rang the fire brigade at 4.30pm and when they came, we walked around the living room which was full of smoke and smelt like burning plastic.”

Miss Chambers added that firemen used special equipment to ensure her home was safe and not at risk of a fire breaking out.

She said: “The fire brigade came straight out and checked the whole house with thermal cameras, but all they found was smoke coming from a BT socket in the living room.

“The socket itself had come off the wall, the cables were split open and had melted onto the carpet.

“Another socket in our smaller play room had been blown off the wall and smashed into pieces.

“If the kids and I had have been in there, it would have hit us.”

Miss Chambers is now waiting on BT engineers and her insurers to come and assess the damage.

She said: “I took the kids to my mum’s house because they were so scared and now they don’t want me and my partner to leave them in the house on their own.

“They weren’t bothered by lightening before, but they are now and they always ask me where I’m going when I leave them.

“It was a bit stressful on Saturday but I’m alright now.”