A Thornton Heath man has spoken of his harrowing experience after a lightning bolt struck just metres away from his home recently.

Leslie Fowl, 77, said multiple electric devices in his house were taken out by the lightning, which struck on Sunday, July 25, around 4.30pm.

Thankfully there were no injuries from the bolt, or any lasting structural damage to his home, but Leslie told the Croydon Guardian he was left shaken by the experience.

"To be honest it took three or four days for me to stop shaking," he said.


"I was sitting about eight or 10 feet away from the bay window at my computer and out of the corner of my eye I saw this blue flash: a horrendous great thing.

"It really frightened me for a moment.

"And less than a split second later, everything went dark. The circuit breakers dropped out but thankfully my computer was on a different line.

"I'm 77 years of age, a widower and was diagnosed with cancer just over a year ago, so my nerves are not in the best of states. Things very easily startle me now, and they never used to as I worked in a noisy environment," he said.

A stormy afternoon had produced "some slight rumbles further away", Leslie recalled, but they were nothing compared to what happened next.

"This one was right out of the blue. There was a large rumble of thunder instantaneously so I assumed it was lightning.

"It didn't actually hit anything. It seemed to explode three or four feet off the ground virtually.

"Nothing was damaged physically, but the residual current arced through my cable and went through the router, and from there through the freeview box, DVD recorder and new headphones, and my landline too.

Your Local Guardian: London has experienced dramatic weather over the last few weeksLondon has experienced dramatic weather over the last few weeks

"When I checked the fuse box, it had actually arced right across the fuse. It didn't take it out, but went straight across it and took the circuit breakers out.

"I've never heard anything as loud as that. It's like a gun going off in your ear," he said.

"It was just like a big blue ball.

"My next door neighbour said his router went down, and my other neighbour's router also went down though that rebooted," he said.

The Met Office weather agency have issued lightning storm warnings for south London this week.

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