A BOLT of lightning almost destroyed a chimney stack after striking the roof of a house in Tynemouth.
Firefighters were called to Percy Park at 2.30pm on Sunday to make the roof safe.
Part of the chimney on the property broke off after it was hit by the thunderbolt, sending debris tumbling down the roof to the ground below, taking tiles with it.
Occupants of flats in the terraced property were told to stay inside while fire officers secured the building.
Jill Heslop, a resident of the street, was at home with her husband Lawrence and 15-year-old son Richard when the lightning struck.
“All we heard was a big bang and then the fire service arrived,” said the 48-year-old.
“We thought our roof had been struck. It was so loud.
“Everything was black, and when I looked out of my bedroom window at the back, there were huge hailstones stotting off the roof.”
A fire brigade spokesperson said: “The roof was in a dangerous condition after being struck by lightning.
“We cordoned off the street and used an aerial ladder platform to access the chimney to remove debris and make it safe.”