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Thunder and lightning stretch emergency services
More than 50 firefighters battled a blaze after a house was struck by lightning as storms brought chaos across the south.
The house in Shirrell Heath is believed to have been struck by the bolt at about 8pm as the spectacular storms hit the region.
In total, around 45 firefighters attended the scene, as well as specialist crews from Southsea and Cosham.
Firefighters used two breathing apparatus, three hose reels and three jets to extinguished the fire.
According to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, the roof was 100 per cent damaged by fire and first floor was 20 per cent damaged.
The fire crews tackled the blaze until around 2am this morning.
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Part of the roof collapsed as firefighters using breathing apparatus and using three hose reels and three jets extinguished the fire at about 2am this morning.
Burnt tiles surround the house called Rosehill and the chimney is burned from where the lightening is believed to have struck.
Homeowner Allan Burgess has lost a number of irreplaceable, sentimental items in the blaze and is now coming to terms with the devastation brought by the fire.
The 72 year-old came home after being alerted to the fire by relatives to find his home ablaze and emergency services on the scene.
He says he has lost many precious family photographs and films and items handed down through the family such as his father's WWII photographs.
He said: “Obviously the damage is very extensive. I'm pretty upset. It's going to take an awful lot to put it right. I just can't believe a lightning strike could cause so much damage.”
Villager Derek Gamblin, 70, pictured below, was the first on the scene last night.
He said: "I was coming back from a meal and we had just had the storm before we left.
"I saw smoke from the house and it was alight.
"There was no one in at the time but I was banging on the door shouting to see if anyone was in. I bruised my thumb."
Today the Met Office has kept the county on flood alert with more torrential downpours predicted.
Meanwhile, an electricity sub station at Brookside Close, in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight, was also struck by lightning.
Elsewhere Portsmouth's League Two match with Wycombe Wanders was abandoned at half-time with the score level at one all because of a waterlogged pitch at Fratton Park.
Cross channel ferry services are today facing severe disruption due to high winds, and as reported, a block of flats in Southampton had its roof blown off.
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