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Flash floods hit parts of Dorset

Cars getting stuck on Winton High Street Credit: @Qikdude

Cars were seen floating down the street in the early hours of this morning as the south coast was battered by violent storms just days after the UK was cooked by sunshine on the hottest day of the year.

Exhausted firefighters worked all through the night to help people out of their homes as torrential rain and lightning storms led to major flooding.

Crews from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service were called to a number of flooded properties in the middle of the night in Bournemouth.

A spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: "Crews have been out all over the county dealing with flooding after the storm, some crews travelling 40 miles from their home stations. We handled over 120 calls in the space of two hours with just four operators to hand."

Resident Melvin Lockey was walking home in West Howe, Bournemouth, in the storm at 1am when he witnessed the chaos.

The 32-year-old said: "I was walking down the street when all of a sudden I saw a car floating past me in the water. The streets in the area were just like rivers, the storm was so bad."

The flash floods erupted just three days after the UK faced one of the hottest days on record, with temperatures reaching highs of up to 36.7C. Ends

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Warning after candle causes house fire

Fire crews are issuing a warning not to leave candles unattended following a fire at a house in Oxfordshire.

At 9:48pm on Thursday 2 July, Thames Valley Fire Control received reports of a living room on fire at Thorpe Road in Wardington.

Fire crews were on scene within minutes, and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building. Crews used a thermal imaging camera to locate, and then a high pressure hosereel to extinguish the fire, which involved the carpet and a sofa in the ground floor living room.

A specialist fan was then used to drive the remaining smoke from the property to help minimise the damage which this can cause.

The fire which was started by an unattended candle was confined to the living room due to the door being closed, this prevented it spreading to the rest of the house which could have trapped the occupants upstairs.

“Fortunately no one was hurt at this incident, and the family had working smoke alarms. Two lessons to be learned from this incident are: Never leave candles unattended and always protect your escape route by keeping it clear and shutting doors at night.”

– Incident Commander John Callaway

Storms hit the south - Your pictures

Spectacular lightning lit up the night sky across much of the south last night as storms rolled in amid a prolonged heatwave.

Thunder and heavy downpours struck the south coast overnight.

The Met Office said the 34-hour period to 10am Thursday saw 19,525 lightning strikes across the UK.

On Wednesday, the highest temperature recorded was 36.7C (98.1F) at Heathrow, breaking the record for a July day, while many other places broke the 30C (86F) mark.

Lightning strike in Bearsted Credit: Gary Neave
The storm overlooking Bournemouth Pier Credit: Mark Pelleymounter
Lightning hits near Bournemouth Pier Credit: Mark Pelleymounter
Storms light up the sky in Uckfield Credit: Sean Inman
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