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Man 'lucky to be alive' after house struck by lightning

Man 'lucky to be alive' after house struck by lightning

Published by Emma Carton at 7:28am 20th February 2020. (Updated at 7:44am 20th February 2020)

A Plymouth man whose house was struck by lightning says firefighters told him he is lucky to be alive.

Colin Oxenham was in the upstairs bedroom on Tuesday night, when a bolt hit the roof.

The ceiling collapsed, but he managed to crawl to the stairs and escape unhurt.

The storm reportedly hit a power station in Cornwall, sparking power cuts in Bodmin.

Trains between Plymouth and Truro were cancelled too, after a signal box was damaged.

"I heard an almighty crack and the place just exploded"

Speaking to ITV News Westcountry, Colin said he felt the ceiling coming down on top of him!

"I was upstairs in the bedroom up out the back on my computer and what have you and then suddenly I heard an almighty crack and the place just exploded.

"Next thing I know I'm in complete darkness and I'm crawling around, my ears are gone and then I felt the ceiling coming down on top of me.

"I managed to get to the top of the stairs and my wife was screaming down below. She shined up a torch so she could see because of all the smog and what have you and I just sort of made my way down; I was halfway down and I could see the flames were already coming out.

"They said to me you're the luckiest man in the UK tonight. You've got a million to one chance - people do not walk away from this let alone with no cuts and bruises. So I went and bought a lottery ticket today. Fingers crossed!"

Colin Oxenham

You can read the full story here or watch more from Colin's interview below...

Neighbours have rallied round to help the family, after they were forced to leave their home.

Donna Wade lives nearby and told ITV News Westcountry the area has been prone to lightning.

"I was just tucking up for the night, lay down, just going to sleep and then boom.

"There was an almighty bang and then a huge flash; my house shook completely.

"The next thing you know, you're reading reports there's been a fire in Crownhill due to the lightning".

Neighbour Donna Wade

You can watch more footage from the scene below...

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