A house in the outskirts of Brussels was devastated after it was struck by a lightning bolt during on Tuesday, as heavy storms pummeled Belgium amid an ongoing heatwave.
Firefighters in the small Walloon town of Lasne, in the Walloon Brabant province south of Brussels, were alerted of the blaze on Tuesday evening.
The lightning bolt ripped through the home's ceiling, setting the entire upper floor ablaze and leaving it completely devastated but causing no injuries to residents.
- Heatwave: red alert remains in force in Antwerp and Limburg
- Is this Belgium's longest heatwave? 6 questions answered
"At around 9:20 PM we were notified that a lightning bolt had struck a house and when we were making our way there we were told that the roof had been completely ravaged by the flames," Olivier Quertinmont of the Walloon Brabant firefighter's division said.
With the fire threatening to spread to neighbouring homes, firefighters needed two fire engines and support from fire brigades in Nivelles, Wavre and Braine-l'Alleud to fight back the flames.
"We got the fire under control and we prevented it from spreading, there are no victims but the blaze left the upper floor of the house completely ravaged," Quertinmont told RTL.
"There is significant water damage inside the property, particularly in the upper floor, but we were able to save some objects which were dear to the residents," he added.
The incident took place as heavy thunderstorms bore down on Belgium amid an ongoing heatwave which has sent temperatures soaring to the mid-thirties for several consecutive days.
The Royal Meteorological Institute has Belgium under red alert for heat for urban areas in Belgium, including Antwerp and Limburg, with the rest of Belgium placed under orange alert.
Temperatures are expected to let up in the coming days, with the alert-level set to become yellow for the whole country except the coast, which goes back to green from 14 August.
The Brussels Times