Storm strikes set houses alight

Lightning strikes and heavy rain in Kent have caused fires and flooding overnight.

Live updates

VIDEO: Fire damage and flooding as storms hit

The hot weather triggered a night of violent storms across the south east overnight. Homes were flooded or struck by lightning. One family fled their home at 4am as it filled with smoke.

The storm also brought down cables and flooded rail track causing rush-hour misery for thousands of commuters. And there could be further storms tonight.

Iain McBride reports and speaks to Sandgate residents Pamela Nairne, Stephen Foden, Sally Vince, Elizabeth Black and Clinton Parker.

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House damaged in lightning fire

Firefighters use a platform and hose at the house in Durrington Credit: Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

A house in Wiltshire suffered extensive damage to its roof in a fire on 22nd July 2013. Six fire appliances, a hydraulic platform and other support vehicles from Wiltshire Fire & rescue Service attended. The house in Stonehenge Road, Durrington was not occupied.

Initial investigations suggest the fire started when lightning struck the television aerial pole. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and also worked form ladders using hose reels to put out the flames. Damage was also reported electrical equipment in neighbouring houses.

The Met Office have issued a weather warning for thunderstorms in the southwest of England today.

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Lightning over Folkestone

Our camera operator Siobhan Hart sent us these pictures of sheet lightning over Folkestone at about 2.15am. Kent Fire and Rescue Service were not called out to any fires in the area, but they did receive about a dozen calls related to flooding.

Officers were sent to two locations to advise, but pumps were not required.

Two houses struck by lightning

Firefighters were called to two house fires this morning as a result of lightning strikes in Kent.

The first was just after 2am on Octavian Drive in Lympne. One house was struck by lightning causing damage to the building's electrics. No one was injured.

The second incident was at 4.25am on Audley Avenue in Gillingham. The lightning started a fire in the ground floor living room of the house, firefighters spend an hour on the scene. No one was hurt in the incident.

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