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‘Lucky to be alive’ - Tree crashes onto bungalow as Brandon woman lays in bed

PUBLISHED: 11:25 20 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:25 20 January 2018

The damage caused by a tree falling on a bungalow in Brandon. Barbra Best was laying in bed when the tree crashed onto the roof. Picture: Stephen Eke

The damage caused by a tree falling on a bungalow in Brandon. Barbra Best was laying in bed when the tree crashed onto the roof. Picture: Stephen Eke

Archant

A woman is “lucky to be alive” after a fallen tree crashed into her bungalow as winds of up to 70mph hit the region, her son has said.

The damage caused by a tree falling on a bungalow in Brandon. Picture: Stephen EkeThe damage caused by a tree falling on a bungalow in Brandon. Picture: Stephen Eke

Stephen Eke received a panicked call at 6.15am from 73-year-old Barbara Best after a neighbour’s large poplar tree fell on the bungalow in Brandon.

The tree was toppled during the windy weather which hit the region on Thursday, January 18.

Mr Eke, who lives in London with his partner, said: “I had a phone call from mum which cut off and then my partner had one, which cut off and I was worried.

“I called her back and she was terrified as one of the neighbour’s trees had fallen on the bungalow as she was in bed. It fell right on her bedroom. She was in bed and heard the crash.”

The damage caused by a tree falling on a bungalow in Brandon. Picture: Stephen EkeThe damage caused by a tree falling on a bungalow in Brandon. Picture: Stephen Eke

He added: “I think what is most upsetting is every one of the traders who came out said to my mum: ‘You are lucky to be alive.’

“When you walk around and see the damage and the ceilings one the floor you think how lucky she was.”

Mr Eke and his partner, who jointly owns the bungalow off London Road with Miss Best, rushed up from the capital to see his mother.

Although very shaken, she escaped with no injuries.

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The tree has destroyed the garage, and has caused significant damage to much of the roof of the property.

The ceiling has fallen down in the spare room, Miss Best’s bedroom and the living room.

“It always happens to someone else you never expect it to happen to you,” said Mr Eke. “We only bought the house in October. The most upsetting thing is she moved from a cottage to settle here and now she will have to move again.”

The 50-year-old praised the kindness and “outpouring of goodwill” of nearby traders, business owners and residents who offered their help.

“It feels like people care and that is wonderful,” he said.

Builders were at the bungalow until 9pm that night removing debris and helping to secure it from any further potential damage from the elements. The bungalow has suffered severe structural damage.

The town was hit hard by the storm, with more 1,000 properties without power for much of the morning.

IES Breckland and the Forest Academy were closed due to the power cut and health and safety reasons as a result of the strong winds.

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