Two houses were struck by lightning on Saturday in Hampshire after a yellow thunderstorm warning was issued.

The semi-detached houses, in Mercia Avenue, Andover, Hampshire, were severely damaged in the incident, which came as thunderstorms hit the south of England over the weekend.

The roof of one house was set ablaze by the lightening strike. The fire then spread to the neighbouring house as some walls collapsed.

Fire crews from seven surrounding areas were sent to the scene and are now damping down the property.

A 70-year-old resident managed to escape unharmed Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

A spokesman said: “Crews from Whitchurch, Amesbury, Ludgershall, Winchester, Overton, Basingstoke and Rushmoor were called to Andover early this morning following a house struck by lightning.

“Two semi-detached houses were severely damaged in the incident.

“A 70-year-old female was assessed by ambulance crews on the scene but was not taken to the hospital.

“One aerial ladder platform and two 45mm jets were used at the incident.”

Neighbour Barrie Austen, 79, told the PA news agency: “There was this enormous bang, it was obviously the lightning, I think it woke the rest of the street up.

“I saw the flickering and when I looked out I saw the roof of the semi-detached house completely ablaze and it had completely gone.

“The side that supports the roof, that collapsed as well and then the flames spread into next door.”

He said that two sisters live at the property and one was checked over by the ambulance crews.

He added: “She seemed shaken but seemed OK, no real physical problems. I think the lightning hit the roof, woke them up and they just got out.”

It comes as the Met Office issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for the south of the UK yesterday, marking an end to the record heatwave.

The warning is in place until 10pm on Saturday. Another thunderstorm warning will come into place across the South East from 9am until midnight Sunday.

The Met Office warned of potential flooding, poor travel conditions, lightning and hail.

Met Office Principal Operational Meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “The warnings in place over the weekend show a marked shift in the weather pattern for many southern areas as low pressure moves in, with potential impacts for business and the public.

“This more unsettled weather brings a risk of torrential downpours and flooding in some places.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

(Only headline is edited by newsmella staff, this new is published from a feed)

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