VIDEO: Lightning bolt rips through Welling house leaving family homeless

Left to right: Aston, Elsie and Sharon Stacey outside their ruined home.

Left to right: Aston, Elsie and Sharon Stacey outside their ruined home.

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A family-of-three had to flee their Welling home after a bolt of lightning ripped through the dining room and set it on fire.

Watch the moment the lightning bolt hit below - but beware the video does contain some swearing

Sharon Stacey, 41, her 13-year-old son Aston and daughter Elsie, five, have been left homeless after the strike hit their TV aerial, shot down the cable and set a cabinet ablaze.

The lightning hit the three bedroom semi-detached house in Springfield Road at just after 3am on Friday during a heavy storm and the resulting fire gutted much of the downstairs.

Miss Stacey told News Shopper: "I was actually awake during the thunder and lightning because I find it quite fascinating - well, I did.

"There was one bang, a bit of lightning and then Elsie and Aston woke up. I told them to go back to sleep but it carried on.

"Then there was this almighty bang and my son screamed."

The family huddled together in Miss Stacey’s bed and it wasn’t long before the single mum smelled smoke and knew they had to get out.

This Is Local London:

What's left of the Stacey's dining room. 

The strike itself was captured on film by one of the family’s neighbours in amazing footage which shows a blinding flash followed immediately by intense thunder.

Miss Stacey is just glad the whole family made it to safety, including dog Ruby and Nellie the three-year-old tortoise who was in a vivarium in her owner’s bedroom at the time of the strike.

The mother-of-two said: "How she came out alive is beyond me.

"The firemen went in and got her out.

"My son has gone very quiet and keeps it all within.

"Give it a couple of days and he may just crash and it will sink in.

"My daughter is absolutely petrified to go to bed."

Two fire engines from Plumstead took nearly an hour to bring the fire under control but not before it burned through 40 per cent of the ground floor and five per cent of the first floor.

Miss Stacey said: "The house is not liveable at all.

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The charred remains of some of the family's belongings. 

"The dining room is back to bare walls and the carpet is burned.

"The kitchen is black as the ace of spades and the rest of the house is black with soot.

"I am angry as I have lost my home because of something that wasn’t my fault."

Miss Stacey says the support from the community has been amazing, with donations topping £300 and well-wishers she has never met before contacting her on Facebook.

The family have been staying with friends a few doors down while waiting for temporary accommodation to become available.

A Bexley Council spokesman said: “Local authorities have a duty to provide emergency accommodation to clients in the case of an emergency, fire or flood where insurance or landlords are not able to help.

“Miss Stacey was initially offered emergency accommodation in Croydon but has now been offered temporary accommodation in Greenhithe.”

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