Woman unharmed after chimney collapses

A WOMAN had a “very lucky escape” yesterday when her chimney collapsed and crashed through the roof of her home.The incident took place at a house in Barfield Road, Thaxted at about 5.

A WOMAN had a “very lucky escape” yesterday when her chimney collapsed and crashed through the roof of her home.

The incident took place at a house in Barfield Road, Thaxted at about 5.30pm and is thought to have been caused by high winds during the weekend.

Shortly after the chimney fell down, the woman managed to flag down a passing fire engine as it returned from another job and the crew on board rushed to her aid.

Firefighters from Thaxted and nearby Dunmow removed the bricks to prevent further damage before calling in a structural engineer to asses the property.

The aerial ladder platform from Harlow was also brought in to help access the roof and help cover the damaged area to protect it from the rain.

Sub officer Steve Morris of Thaxted Fire Station said the chimney had caused “major damage” - smashing tiles, breaking four of the rafters and the purlins the rafters sit on.

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He said: “The woman who lives in this house had a very lucky escape. She was in at the time the chimney collapsed and even heard it creaking as it fell but has come out of the incident completely uninjured.

“Crews worked extremely hard removing all of the chimney and damaged section of the roof, ensuring the house was structurally sound and even covering the holes in the roof with tarpaulin so the owner can remain there.

“We were on our way back from another job in which a tree had fallen on the roof of a property and the owner of this house came outside and flagged us down as we were driving along.”

He said that, as with the fallen tree, the chimney had been weakened by the high winds but had taken some time before collapsing.

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