This is the dramatic moment lightning hit a house which sounded like ‘a bomb in Syria’.
Flames up to '20 feet' high tore through the sky on Friday (September 16) as crews from across Bucks battled the blaze at The Brow, Chalfont St Giles .
John England, owner, said he went into ‘survival mode’ to get his daughter, her husband and their young daughter out of the house as they were staying over at the time.
His eight-year-old granddaughter has been left ‘very upset’ by the fire which has gutted the entire top floor.
He said the noise reminded him of World War Two, and added that it could take up to a year before he can live in the house again.
He had been checking on his granddaughter in the other room just seconds before the lightning strike hit the house.
He said: “I was just getting back into bed and the whole house absolutely shook.
“I lifted the hatch to get into the loft and smoke came pouring out.”
He added: “I can remember the war - it reminded me of doodlebugs.”
Retired Mr England also said he had felt something dripping on him in the night and remembers thinking that it was odd.
The whole house has been destroyed and will have to be entirely renovated.
“Total damage,” he said. “Only four walls will be left.”
Calling it ‘quite an experience’ he said: “I was all packed and ready to go to St Ives, Cornwall, for my holiday.”
He added: “Instead of being in sunny St Ives I’m here in smoky Chalfont St Giles.”
Tina Dennis, his daughter, said she heard a crack ‘quite close by’ and her daughter heard the rain all night.
Torrential storms hit England on Thursday night, battering parts of the country with heavy rainfall.
Flash foods and landslides caused chaos for commuters and families, with an early morning train from Milton Keynes to London Euston derailed as it hit a landslip.
Mr England thanked his neighbours for their help: “All the neighbours have been fantastic,” he added.