Lightning strikes pound Auckland homes

South Auckland residents had a narrow escape last night after a series of lightning strikes left walls damaged, windows shattered and a bed burnt.

Papakura resident Josh Roa and his wife were sleeping when their bed caught fire as a lightning bolt went through their telephone line up to the bedroom modem.

"My wife smelt the burning and said 'the bed is on fire'," he said.

"Forty 40 seconds later the smoke alarm went off."

Roa used water from the laundry tub to fight the fire until emergency services arrived.

Next door, 10 minutes after Carletta Bongard got out of the shower, lightning hit her house, smashing several windows and
severely damaging the bathroom, causing the shower to cave in.

"I keep thinking about what could have happened if I hadn't got out 10 minutes earlier," she said.

"I shouldn't but it is hard. It was a shock."

Roa said electrical crews are working to bring power back to the houses but is unsure when that would be.

"But right now we are really just focusing on our three little girls," he said.

"Tonight they are getting a full fire drill training."

The Fire Service said lightning strikes hit Pukekohe and Papakura about 10.30pm, knocking out power to several homes.