Lightning destroys Melbourne homes

Last updated 14:55 27/11/2012
Melbourne house
INCOMING: A firefighter stands under a hole blasted through the roof of a house in Berwick by a lightning strike.

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Lightning strikes have set a house on fire and blown the roof off another in separate incidents in Melbourne.

Victoria has been hit by thousands of bolts of lightning from a thunder storm that swept the state this morning.

A home in Berwick was mostly destroyed when lightning hit the roof and set it on fire, while a woman and child were taken to hospital after their home in Thornbury also took a direct hit.

"It has literally blown a tiled roof off a first floor extension," Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Peter Egan told local radio.

"Fire wasn't really the issue, it was the force of the explosion from the lightning strike that has done the most damage" he said.

"At the time their was a three-year-old asleep on the first floor and mum and dad were downstairs, I believe they rescued the baby fairly quickly and got out of the house."

Meanwhile, neighbours of the Berwick house heard a loud crack seconds before seeing smoke coming from the roof of the house, which then caught fire.

Five trucks and 20 firefighters took 30 minutes to bring the fire under control, but 60 per cent of the house was destroyed. The occupants were not home at the time.

A Country Fire Authority spokeswoman said it was rare for lightning to cause house fires.

- The Age

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