More than 90 homes in East Morton were left without power after a freak lightning bolt struck a wooden electricity pole.

A Northern Grid spokesman said engineers had been working round the clock since the strike happened in the early hours of yesterday.

Firefighters from Bingley station were on the scene first after getting calls from concerned residents who reported seeing sparks in a field off Otley Road, Eldwick. Earlier the area had experienced an electric storm.

When firefighters arrived they found the top 8ft of a wooden pole had burned right through and had toppled on to a line of cables crossing below it, severing the power supply. Engineers at Northern Grid had already been alerted about the problem and were on their way at the time.

A Northern Grid spokesman confirmed about 95 homes in the East Morton area had lost their power supply, but it was expected to be back to normal by mid-afternoon yesterday.

Bingley fire station’s watch commander, Alan Wood, said: “Because of the state of the pole we can only suspect it was hit by a freak lightning bolt that went right through it. Lines from these poles kick out about 11,000 volts.”

The Northern Grid spokesman said engineers could not say for certain what had happened to the pole, but fire had been involved so a lightning strike was a possibility.

A new pole had to be ordered to replace the damaged one, he added.

Roads affected included Sunnydale Park, Old Side Court, Green End Road, Botany Drive, Upper Mill Row, Otley Road, Silk Mill Drive and Alma Terrace.

Meanwhile it was business as usual at East Morton’s village pub The Busfeild Arms.

East Morton Village Society chairman David Miller said: “Our power went off just for a short time. It triggered the burglar alarm which made us jump, but came on again soon after. It was little more than a trivial nuisance.