Northamptonshire family left with huge repair bill after bolt of lightning hit their home

A family in the village of Harpole, near Northampton, has been left with a repair bill of tens of thousands of pounds after a lightning bolt hit the roof of their home, causing a fire.

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 6:30 am
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2016, 10:37 am
Catherine Malagni at her home in Sandy Lane, Harpole

Firefighters were called out to an address in Sandy Lane on Thursday night after Catherine Malagni returned home to find a blaze has started in the roof.

Mrs Malagni said she saw the lid of the internet router “blow off” after she walked through the door shortly before 8pm.

A search of the house did not reveal any other signs of damage, but when she opened the loft hatch Mrs Malagni saw a fire had started.

Catherine Malagni at her home in Sandy Lane, Harpole

She said: “As I got nearer to the loft hatch I could hear crackling and when I opened it up I could see the roof was alight. I shut the hatch as quickly as possible and went outside. My neighbours had seen smoke coming from the roof and had already called the fire brigade. The nine minutes waiting for the firefighters felt like an eternity.”

Unfortunately, Mrs Malagni had not realised a fire had also started in the living room after the wires behind the TV caught fire.

The fire brigade managed to contain the blaze although most of the property has suffered severe smoke and water damage.

Franco Malagni, Catherine’s son, said the cost of repairing the damage to the house, which was up for sale, is likely to be tens of thousands of pounds.

Catherine Malagni at her home in Sandy Lane, Harpole

The insurance cover on the house had run out in January and the family are paying for all the refurbishments. People can donate money to support the family at


‘Lucky no-one was hurt in the fire’

Despite having to deal with the huge cost of repairing her fire-damaged house, Catherine Malagni said she felt lucky nobody had been injured when the lightning bolt hit her house.

Mrs Malagni, who lives in the house with her two sons, said the fire would have been much harder to deal with if the family had been asleep.

She said: “It was a godsend that we weren’t all asleep in bed. The ceiling has collapsed above my bed. It was very frightening I did not know what was going to happen.”