Three houses were struck by lightning early today as the mini-heatwave broke with a fierce breakfast-time storm over parts of Lancashire.
The properties, on Meadowside and North Meadowside in Walmer Bridge near Preston, suffered structural damage.
No-one was injured, but residents had to be moved out while emergency services dealt with the incident.
The Red Cross, which helps accommodate people displaced by emergencies, was called in.
Fire crews from Penwortham, Preston, Bamber Bridge and Tarleton were called to the quiet residential neighbourhood at around 7.45am after reports that some of the houses had caught fire.
A fire brigade spokesman said: “There was no fire. But firefighters confirmed occupants were safe and called for the services of the Red Cross Fire Emergency Support Service, which works in partnership with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to offer shelter and assistance to people in the aftermath of fires or other emergencies.”
One of the houses affected had a hole blasted in its roof, causing extensive damage to a bedroom and bringing down the ceiling of the lounge downstairs.
Owner Lily Miller was asleep when the lightning struck and escaped unscathed.
Next door the lightning shattered a window. Several properties on Meadowside were left without power.