Pensioners Phil and Marie Lloyd were terrified when a lightning fireball tore into their home during Saturday’s violent thunderstorm.

The retired couple, of Berryfield Road, Bradford on Avon, were at home in their bungalow at 9.30am when the lightning hit.

Neighbours saw a blue/purple lightning ball around the same time and experienced a tingling sensation as well as losing telephone connections.

Mr Lloyd said: “It was a terrible noise. The strike hit the aerial, went down the chimney and through the ground. It showered the kitchen with debris and glass.

“If I had been near the kitchen then I would have been killed. The house filled with smoke like it was on fire.

“I shot out of the front door and called the fire brigade.”

Surveyors have now visited to assess the damage but said it would be a while until things returned to normal.

Trowbridge watch manager Guy Tadman said: “It was still smouldering when we got there and we had to make sure it was safe as it blew up all the sockets in the property. There was also a small fire in Giffords Court, Melksham, but that was out on arrival.

Homes and shops in Trowbridge were also hit by temporary power cuts, with reports of outages at the ASDA, Sainsbury's and Tesco Extra supermarkets.