A NETHER Langwith man says he is lucky to be alive after a lightning strike devastated his ‘dream home’.
Dean Radford (47) was watching TV in the living room of his Welfitt Grove home with girlfriend Lisa when the couple heard a terrific bang and were suddenly plunged into darkness.
“Luckily we had our mobile phones on us so we were able to get our bearings,” he said.
“When we flicked the phone’s light on we could see we were surrounded by dust. There was a strong sort of electrical, copper smell.
“It was such a shock to the system because everything happened in a split-second - it was literally a snap of the fingers and it was like a bomb had gone off.”
The damage was far worse than Thoresby Colliery worker Dean could have predicted.
The strike destroyed part of the roof, obliterated the bathroom, where shrapnel from an exploded metal element was blown clean through the plaster, burned through phone and electrical lines and warped large oak beams in the living room.
It also burst pipes in the roof, causing water to flood the loft and pour on to the landing.
A metal drain pipe on the side of the house was cracked in two and windows around the house were instantly smashed.
“I think if anyone had been in the shower at the time, they would have been a goner,” Mr Radford said.
“If they had not been frazzled, they would have been torn to pieces by the shrapnel.”
Now the fate of Mr Radford’s home is in the hands of structural engineers, who could deem the property unsafe and require it to demolished because an exterior wall has warped and cracks have appeared around the house.
He said: “It’s a nightmare - this was my dream home. I moved here nine months ago because of the wildlife and now I might be looking at having to have the place torn down.”
The strike, which witnesses reported as being like a very bright camera flash, shook houses within a few hundred yards of Mr Radford’s home and caused powercuts and damage to electrical equipment. One neighbour’s garden was flooded after a water pipe burst.
Friend of the couple Jason Hawley was at the nearby Jug and Glass pub when the lightning hit.
He said: “We felt it hit - the pub shook. The whole pub was in shock. I thought I was being wound-up when people said fire engines were heading toward’s Dean’s house.”
Mr Radford says he is going to keep a wall clock which stopped ticking the instant the lightning struck - recording the exact time of the strike at 6.24pm last Tuesday.
“I think we have just got to be relieved we are still alive,” he added.
Fire crews from Mansfield and Warsop attended the scene.