“It didn’t feel real”: Dad explains devastation of watching house burn down

Oliver Lachat back at his home this week. Photo: Channel Nine.
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Oliver Lachat had just returned home to his two sons on Monday evening when he realised that his Glenmore Park residence had been struck by lightning in Monday’s violent storm.

“I walked in the house and flicked the light, and it didn’t go on. I said ‘why are the lights out, boys?’,” Mr Lachat said.

“They said there was a big bang, like lightning, that felt like it hit the house.”

After checking several other lights and assuming a short circuit, Mr Lachat noticed white plastic dripping from the air conditioning vent, and made the life-saving decision to evacuate with his sons and dogs. The house was engulfed in flames just 15 minutes later.

Fire crews working to control the blaze. Photo: FRNSW.

“It just didn’t feel real. It was like watching the news or something that was happening somewhere else,” Mr Lachat said.

“There were a lot of neighbours around, coming up and making sure that we were alright, and I sort of joined in with them and just watched.”

Mr Lachat’s home, aside from one side of their garage, was reduced to ash. Since the fire, the Penrith community has come out in strides to assist the Lachat family, offering clothing and food, and starting a GoFundMe.

“It is amazing all the different people who have rallied around to help out,” Mr Lachat said.

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