A MAN had a narrow escape when a bolt of lightning struck his house.
The house on Snabwood Close, Little Neston, was hit through the TV aerial at 4pm on Saturday, causing a blaze in the front bedroom and blowing off large parts of the roof.
The lightning bolt travelled around the property, blowing out all the light switches and causing the portable television in the front bedroom to explode.
Homeowner Neil Smith was inside the house with his wife and daughter when the strike happened.
He had been in the bedroom only minutes before watching the FA Cup final on TV but had gone downstairs to join his wife in the kitchen at half-time.
Mr Smith said: 'Thank god it was half-time. I'm so lucky it happened then. I'd gone upstairs because the satellite coverage of the match had gone down because of the bad weather.
'I'd been watching the match on my bed and went back down just before it struck. Luckily, my daughter was in the back bedroom and my wife was in the kitchen.'
The damage caused by the lightning was so severe Mr Smith and his family will have to wait up to six months before they can return to their home.
As soon as the lightning struck Mr Smith quickly rushed his wife, Valerie, and daughter, Briony out of their home.
He said: 'When we got outside we could see smoke coming up from the roof and the scale of the damage. We didn't know whether to laugh or cry.'
Ellesmere Port firefighter Andy Scott who attended the incident said: 'It caused a hell of a lot of damage. Mr Smith was very calm in the situation and thank-fully no one was hurt.'