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I'm still standing

PUBLISHED: 00:55 15 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

A HOMEOWNER today described the moment his house fell down around him.

Michael Scott and his wife Mary, from Ringshall, were visiting their 200-year-old house in Battisford, near Stowmarket, when the unimaginable happened – it collapsed.

A HOMEOWNER today described the moment his house fell down around him.

Michael Scott and his wife Mary, from Ringshall, were visiting their 200-year-old house in Battisford, near Stowmarket, when the unimaginable happened – it collapsed.

Michael had gone inside the house while Mary waited outside.

Mary said: "We had just come down to cut the grass and my husband went inside to check something. It was just like watching a horror movie.

I heard a crack and then it just went.

"The house just went down. I was rooted to the spot."

"Our neighbours from across the road saw what happened and came over to us. One of our neighbours asked where Michael was and I said inside the house. He (the neighbour) was fantastic, he went straight into the house without thinking about himself."

Amazingly Michael then appeared uninjured.

Mary said: "Michael then appeared covered in white dust."

Michael said: "I was near the back of the house. I heard a crack and I jumped out into the back extension – that is the only bit left standing.

"It was very frightening."

Commenting on her husband's cool approach to narrowly avoiding disaster, Mary added: "He is a man who does not panic easily."

The couple bought the house in October last year and have had builders in for months. They had already transformed half of the house back into a cottage and were starting on the second half when it suddenly crumbled to the ground.

"Luckily there were none there at the time," Mary said. "It was truly shocking."

Workmen were due to return to shore up the rest of the house today.

The people living opposite them, Phil and Sue Taylor, feared the couple were inside when the house, on Bowl Road, Battisford Straight, collapsed on Saturday .

Mr Taylor said: "We were in here getting on with our work and I walked towards our front door, which has a window by it. I noticed that above the doorway a large piece of cob, which is the clay and straw that the building is made of instead of bricks, was falling.

"I shouted to my wife 'Sue a piece of cob has come down' but before I finished the sentence the front wall started to crumble and the whole lot came down. The roof fell down to the ground and flipped over.

"We did not actually know how many people were there at the time. As soon as I saw it come down there was a milli-second of shock and then I ran over there with Sue.

"We found Mary standing at the front in total shock, and I said: 'Where's Michael?' She said: 'He's in the house'.

"Then I started to go round the side of the house; my impression was I've got to get in there and see where he is.

"Fortunately for me he appeared covered in dust. He was a bit shaken. There were not any more people in at the time.

"They were extremely lucky as their little grandchildren, who live next door, are often there looking at the work. They were there half an hour before. They would have been squashed flat by that."


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