Couple flee fire in pyjamas after lightning strike destroys house

The house was destroyed after being hit by lightning at around 2am.

Couple flee Lewis house fire in pyjamas after lightning strike destroys house Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

A couple were forced to flee in their pyjamas when their home was destroyed by fire after being struck by a bolt of lightning in the early hours of the morning.

The house on Lewis was hit by lightning during a storm at around 2am on Wednesday

Simon and Louise Scott, a GP in Stornoway, ran for their lives after they were awoken by loud thunder at their house in the crofting village of Ardroil.

A ball of fire set the property alight and caused the chimney to collapse through the roof.

Spiralling wild winds whipped up flames engulfing the property on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, making it an impossible task to control the blaze.

Mr Scott, who is the factor at the nearby Grimersta Estate, described a huge explosion when “lightning hit the chimney stack above the bedroom”.

He said: “Half of the stack came down into the bedroom and the other half fell outside.

“The fire started immediately. I went to get a fire extinguisher but, with the gale, it was not controllable.

“We grabbed the dogs and got out of the house as we were in our pyjamas and wellies.”

He added: “We are very sad to have lost the property but very, very grateful as it could have been worse.”

Fire crews from Valtos and Great Bernera battled the fire for hours assisted by reinforcements from Stornoway and Shawbost.

They battled the blaze overnight severely hampered by a fierce storm and 60mph gusts.

The Scotts lost virtually all of their possessions when they raced to escape the flames.

The family’s home is now completely destroyed with only the outer walls of the building remaining.

Two vehicles were also seriously damaged in the incident. 

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 1.52am on Wednesday, February 23 to reports of a house fire following a lightning strike at Ardroil, Isle of Lewis. 

“Operations Control mobilised four fire appliances and firefighters extinguished a fire affecting a property. 

“There were no reported casualties and crews left the scene after ensuring the area was safe.” 

Dougie Campbell, the local Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) group commander, praised his crews professionalism and dedication in the face of brutal weather and difficult conditions.

He said: “When crews got there the fire was well established, unfortunately.

“Crews were faced with a well developed fire when they attended.

“They established everyone was out (of the house) and people and animals were safe, isolated the live electricity supply to the house and secured a water supply for fire-fighting efforts.”

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