Lightning strike horror: Hundreds evacuated after dangerous bolt sets house on fire and cl

BBC Weather: Cold temperatures for UK with some snow

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Due to the unsettled weather battering the UK, the Greater Manchester area has suffered snow and storms throughout Thursday and Friday. Friday morning saw a lightning strike reported in Ashton-under-Lyne, with residents claiming they heard an “explosion”.

According to local reports, emergency services rushed to Store Street after a fire broke out in a terraced house.

Despite the snowy conditions, some residents were evacuated from their homes.

A nearby preschool was forced to close due to the incident.

One neighbour shared they heard a large bang at the time, which they said “sounded like an explosion”.

Another neighbour said they heard a noise which “sounded like a bomb had gone off”.

Reports from the Manchester Evening News hold the fire is “believed to have been caused by a lightning strike”, with investigations ongoing.

The outlet reported that a cordon had been put in place, with at least five fire engines pictured at the scene.

MEN reported that no one was believed to have been injured in the fire.

As of publication, they said residents, who were evacuated ”as a safety precaution”, were allowed back into their homes.

However, reports held some houses on Store Street were left without electricity.

In a statement, a spokesperson from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said: “At approximately 7am on Friday, 7th January, firefighters were called to reports of a fire at a terraced property on Store Street, in Ashton-under-Lyne.

“Fire engines from Ashton, Oldham, Stalybridge and Chadderton fire stations, alongside the aerial appliance from Manchester Central station, quickly attended the scene.

“The fire involved the roof space of an end terraced house.

“A number of houses on the street have been evacuated as a safety precaution.

“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus have extinguished the fire using hose reel jets, an aerial ladder and other specialist equipment.”

Station Manager Ken Booth, officer in charge at the scene, told MEN: “Firefighters were called to a fire involving the second floor of an end-terrace property.

“Fire crews have worked to prevent spread to the next-door terrace. The fire has been extinguished.

“Crews remain at the scene clearing debris and making sure the scene is safe.

“Firefighters expect to remain at the scene for a number of hours.”

On Thursday, Greater Manchester was issued a “severe weather” warning by the Met Office, who flagged the risk of snow and ice.

In their notice for a warning in effect from 8pm on Thursday to 11am on Friday, they said: “Winds will be gusty around heavier showers and there is also a risk of lightning strikes from isolated thunderstorms in some coastal districts.”

Another weather warning has been issued by the Met Office, covering parts of Greater Manchester including the city centre.

The yellow warning for ice is in effect from 3:30pm on Friday to midnight, and said: “Icy surfaces are possible for a time on Friday evening and overnight, leading to potentially tricky conditions.”

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