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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 08:02 GMT 09:02 UK
Lightning destroys Star Wars toys
The force deserted Star Wars fan Graham Duck when a lightning strike destroyed his 20,000 collection of toys and memorabilia from the films.

The 41-year-old had returned to his home in Loftus, near Redcar, just hours before fierce storms devastated parts of northern England.

Lightning struck the roof of his house, causing a fire in a loft, where he stored his beloved collection.

It took Cleveland Fire Brigade 90 minutes to put out the blaze.

Mr Duck had returned from a Father's Day meal with his two children to find his home on fire.

Chimney stack

He said the collection of toys was irreplaceable and "priceless".

"The whole of the chimney stack where it hit is cracked and damaged," Mr Duck said.

"It hit the stack at first and then travelled down the wall inside and set fire to the loft.

"It's blown out some of the walls and ceiling in the main bedroom, but everything caught fire in the loft."

A fire brigade spokeswoman said the loft was totally destroyed by the fire and seven rooms were damaged by smoke.

She said no-one was injured and no rescue was needed.

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