A NEWBRIDGE couple have been forced to leave their home after it was left “devastated” by a lightning bolt earlier this month.

Adrian Garnham and his wife Cheryl were sitting in their living room at their home on Brynderi Terrace when they say they were deafened they were deafened by a freak lightning strike which exploded exploded through their chimney and into the house. Neighbours say they saw an orange ball of lightning strike the chimney at lunchtime on Sunday, April 20.

It exploded out from the fire place, leaving parts of the marble grate lodged in their ceiling.

Mr Garnham, 59, said: “It was like a bomb going off. Our ears were ringing for a day or two and our chests were hurting.

“The house was left devastated. The floorboards need to be taken out and the ceilings taken down for the house to be totally re-wired. Lumps of chimney were left in the garden.

“The house was devastated by it. The floorboards need to be taken out and the ceilings need to be taken down for the house to be totally re-wired. We later noticed that there were two lumps of concrete from the chimney in our garden. We’ll probably need a new chimney as well.”

The couple have been forced to live at the Premier Inn hotel in Pontypool since the incident took place, with repair work at their damaged home expected to take a couple of months.

“We had to go to the hospital in Ystrad Mynach to have chest x-rays because they were worried the electric shock had affected our hearts. Luckily, we got the all-clear,” he added.

Mr Garnham, a self-employed courier said it could have been much worse due to the fact his family, including his young grandchildren, were due to come for dinner later that afternoon.

He added: “The fire service from Aberbargoed told us there would have been fatalities if there were more people in the house.”

The damage is likely to run into thousands of pounds but is likely to be covered by the Garnham’s insurance company.

Mr Garnham added: “The main thing we wanted to point out was the dangers of lightning striking people’s homes. It could happen to other people when they don’t expect it. We were lucky.”