A business partner has spoken of his shock after a lightning bolt started a massive fire on his farm as storms lashed the area.
Eight fire crews were called to Manor Farm in Elsthorpe Road, in Stainfield near Morton, at about 4am on Tuesday after the bolt struck a single-storey farm workshop and started a fire.
The building contained acetylene and propane cylinders which exploded, causing the fire to spread to a nearby barn containing bales of hay.
Fire crews battled to put out the blaze and they were at the scene until the afternoon.
Throughout the day farm workers helped firefighters move smouldering and burning bales to reduce the intensity of the blaze.
James Tickler, a partner in the family hay and straw business GW Tickler, was asleep in the farm house with his wife Katherine, 38, and children Eleanor, seven, and Harry, four, when they were woken by an alarm.
Mr Tickler, pictured inset next to the destroyed said: “It was a very dramatic and shocking night.
“We were plunged into darkness and the alarms were ringing.
“When I went outside to reset it that is when I saw the rubble on the ground.
“Then I saw a great big hole in the wall of the workshop with smoke coming out of it.
“I was shocked when I saw it but then I clicked into gear, called the fire brigade and made sure everyone was safe.”
Mr Tickler, who runs the farm with his father George, 63, who lives in a nearby cottage, said: “At the end of the day it is a hassle but everything is replaceable and people aren’t, so the fact everyone is safe is the most important thing.
“It has not put us out of business. It is an inconvenience and we have lost some stock but it will not affect our ability to deliver to our customers.”
The fire destroyed the workshop and badly damaged the barn. More than 400 bales were destroyed and there was also smoke damage to a further 800 hay bales.
Mr Tickler estimates the cost of the damage will run into tens of thousands of pounds.
He added: “I want to thank the fire brigade for their prompt and professional service and the staff on the farm who assisted the firemen.”