'They were sitting in their kitchen watching TV, then there was an almighty bang and they lost everything'

The aftermath of the lightning strike
-Credit: (Image: Caroline Moore/SWNS)

A couple have been left "devastated" after a lightning strike tore through their home.

Connie and Rob Turner, both 79, were said to be 'broken' after their three-bed home was destroyed in a blaze following the freak incident on Sunday evening (May 26).

The pair had been watching TV in their kitchen when the bolt hit the property with a “horrific bang” at around 4.30pm. A huge fire then engulfed the roof of the building, with Rob, who is disabled, needing to be rescued by neighbours.

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While fire crews put out the burn, the elderly couple has lost more than 40 years’ worth of possessions - with the cost of damage to the property thought to be over £200,000.

Connie's daughter, Caroline Moore, 54, described the scene as looking like a disaster movie.

She said: “It was just like going onto a film set. I jumped out of my car, left the engine running and the door wide open, and just ran to the ambulance. I didn’t know at this point what I was going to find.

The pair had been watching TV in their kitchen when the bolt hit the property
The pair had been watching TV in their kitchen when the bolt hit the property -Credit:Caroline Moore/SWNS

“They were devasted. They were both in tears. My stepdad is disabled so the neighbours managed to get him out. And my mum, her blood pressure was over 200. It was just devastating to see them like that.”

Caroline said the pair were brought to a hospital, where they were found to have no physical injuries, and have since been given a flat to stay in at a nearby farm. But she said they had been left ‘mentally scarred’ by the traumatic incident in Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, East Yorkshire.

Caroline added: “One minute they are fine and the next they just break down – thinking of the things they have lost... They’ve got a lifetime of memories in there.

"They have no injuries, they were released the following day, but it’s mentally scarring, it’s just horrendous."

Speaking about the strike at the home where she has lived since the early 80s, Connie said: "I can’t believe it. We’ve lost absolutely everything. We have got nothing.”

Caroline, also from Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, said Connie, a retired hairdresser, and Rob, a former window cleaner, had been relaxing together when the lightning struck.

She said the sky had suddenly turned very dark and there was both hail and heavy rain as a thunderstorm loomed over the beautiful Yorkshire village.

Caroline said: “It was Sunday tea time. I think it struck around 4.30pm. They were sitting in their kitchen area watching the TV. There was just an almighty bang. It had become really dark, and then the rain started really heavy. And there were hail stones as well.

“I don’t really think they fully understood what it was. It was just a horrific, horrific bang. My mum, bless her, ran outside to look at the neighbour's house because she thought it was the one next door. And then she realised it was her own house.

“There was smoke starting to billow down the stairs and through the hallway. I think it struck the roof over the bedroom at the back, that’s what we can gather anyway.

“But it’s wiped it out. When lightning travels, it needs to find an exit. It just travelled throughout the house.”

Caroline said she had already spoken to the couple’s home insurers, who thankfully said they would cover the damage to the property.

But she still doesn’t know if it will need to be rebuilt from the ground up – and guessed that it could cost in excess of £200,000 for the work.

She said: “We’ve no idea what actually will happen. But they’ve said it's covered, and they’ve also been covered for alternative accommodation, so once they’ve found them something suitable they’ll be moved there.

“It could definitely be a few hundred thousand pounds.”

Supportive locals who heard about the strike have since rallied around the couple. And they have now set up a donation page to help with their expenses, which has so far raised just under £6,000.