Just inches from death

A HUSBAND and wife from St Georges said they thought a bomb had gone off when lightning struck and left them with a gaping hole in the side of their house

A HUSBAND and wife from St Georges said they thought a bomb had gone off when lightning struck and left them with a gaping hole in the side of their house. Jon and Vanessa Hurdle, of Willow Gardens, were sleeping soundly in their bed in the early hours of Wednesday (Feb 28) when they were woken by a huge bang - and realised their home had been hit.When Jon, who works for Bristol Trade Centre, looked out of the window he saw bricks falling from the sky and crashing onto the couple's Range Rover below. The 40-year-old former Priory Community School pupil, said: "All the pictures had fallen off the walls and the electricity sockets were hanging off as well because of the massive power surge."Vanessa, also aged 40, a former Broadoak Community School pupil, said: "Even the gym equipment shifted from one side of the spare room to the other because of the force of the lightning strike. "When we saw what was happening I ran downstairs in my jogging bottoms. I couldn't open the door because of the pile of bricks behind it.""So we pushed and pushed and eventually managed to get outside."Dexter our golden retriever wet himself but our cat Tipsy slept through the whole thing."When the fire brigade got there they made the place safe but I said I could smell burning."As we were all stood outside the house Jon said he could see smoke and then 4ft of flames came out of the house. The extractor fan in the cloakroom had caught on fire."Jon and Vanessa, a former hairdresser who doesn't work anymore because she suffers with the illness Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME), have been told not to go back into the house because it is so dangerous.They are staying with their neighbours, Ivan and Trin Constable, and their two children, Jacob, aged 12 and six-year-old Charlie, while they sort out the repairs to their house and the 2ft dent and smashed windscreen on their car.JJ and Tipsy the cats and Dexter the dog are staying with Jon's mum Cynthia.Jon added: "We will be making sure we play the National Lottery on Saturday. "After all, what are the chances of getting struck by lightning?


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