A FREAK lightning strike started a bedroom fire in Banbury yesterday afternoon, the fire service says.

The strike – at around 4.50pm on Cheney Road – hit a roof-mounted television aerial, which caused a power surge through a cable linked to a first floor bedroom.

The house owners returned home shortly after the strike, only to find it filled with smoke when they opened the front door.

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Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service say two fire engines and an 'appliance' then attended and brought the fire under control using high pressure hose reels and pressurised fans. Fire fighters were also wearing breathing apparatus.

No one is believed to have been hurt, but the fire service are yet to confirm if that is the case.

The service recommend that all domestic premises have at least one working smoke alarm on each floor, and they are tested once a week, and that doors are closed when leaving your home.