MARY St resident George Honnery was settling down in front of the television for a night of tennis viewing when an almighty crack lit up his neighbourhood.
The 79-year-old rushed outside to hear two passers-by yelling "your roof is on fire".
A lightning bolt from Wednesday's storm directly struck the roof of his unit about 5.30pm.
"It blew everything (on the roof) and it went up in flames," Mr Honnery said.
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His neighbour Lola Egan said the strike was like a fireball.
"I jumped up out of the lounge and I ran to the kitchen and I screamed," Mrs Egan said.
"It shook my unit.
"It was a bit of a panicking time."
Luckily, the pouring rain extinguished the fire before it took hold.
It was out before firefighters arrived.
The bolt left Mr Honnery's unit complex without electricity for the night.
A private electrician yesterday reconnected the power.