Lightning strikes Sheffield telegraph pole causing television to 'explode' and two house blazes

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Firefighters battled two houses fires on a Sheffield road for hours last night, after lightning struck a nearby telegraph pole, with one neighbour claiming it caused a television at one of the affected properties to 'explode'.

Sheffield was hit by a major thunderstorm and heavy rain last night (Saturday, July 8, 2023), with some areas hit by flash-flooding.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue confirmed firefighters worked for more than two hours to extinguish blazes that broke out at two premises on East Bank Road in the Heeley area of Sheffield as a result of the storm; with the service arriving on the scene at around 9.30pm and leaving just after midnight.

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Neighbour, Bobby Anwar, lives a few doors down from the affected properties, and was attempting to get video footage of the storm from his bedroom window, when he saw the lightning bolt hit a telegraph pole.

"It was huge, and then there was a big bang, and lots of sparks flicking everywhere. There was an explosion coming from the top of the telegraph pole," said Bobby.

Bobby said the fire service arrived on the scene a matter of minutes after the lightning strike, and he, and other neighbours, initially believed they were sent out to tend to the telegraph pole 'explosion'; but they soon realised that two properties on the street were on fire.

He continued: "The strike burst into a firework of sparks, not realising that the power surge had run along two overhead cables into the victim's homes...The other neighbour reported that the TV aerial had acted as a lightning conductor and blew the TV as burnt right through the aerial cable.

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"The smell of scorched plastic could be smelt all up and down the street as the fire spread through their houses and the smell from the struck box on the telegraph pole."

Bobby spoke to the occupant of one of the properties who caught fire.

"He was a taxi driver, and was trying to sleep...he said he was upstairs and heard the television blow up...he was really shocked," said Bobby, adding that the man told him that the lightning strike had affected all of the electrical appliances that were plugged in at the time.

"All residents are fine but shaken by the surprise explosions and fires within their homes and stood by as they watched the very responsive team that was on watch tonight at the responding fire station. Hats off to their quick actions and that all affected are okay," Bobby said.

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