House undergoing renovation collapses in Chorley as Storm Franklin brings strong winds to Lancashire

A house undergoing a major renovation in Chorley collapsed as Storm Franklin swept across Lancashire, bringing winds of up to 75mph.

By Sean Gleaves
Monday, 21st February 2022, 5:48 pm

Three fire engines from Preston and Penwortham and a search dog attended the scene shortly after 5.20am on Monday (February 21).

The end-terraced house, located on the corner of Carrington Road and Avondale Road, had been undergoing building work before it collapsed.

Pictures from the scene showed the side of the house had completely given way during the high winds, leaving the inside of the building exposed.

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A large pile of bricks could also be seen strewn across the pavement as the roof began to cave in, with tape blocking off access to the road.

"Firefighters worked with the local authority to ensure the safety of the structure and surrounding areas," a spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said.

"They were in attendance for approximately four and a half hours".

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A house undergoing a major renovation in Chorley collapsed as Storm Franklin swept across Lancashire (Photo by Denis Jolly)

Police confirmed no injuries had been reported following the incident when contacted by the Lancashire Post.

Coun Adrian Lowe, Executive Member of Chorley Council said: "The empty property had recently undergone some building work to remove the front elevation.

"We believe that the strong winds experienced over the weekend and this morning caused the roof of the property to lift and a remaining wall to collapse.

"Once the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service had made sure there were no casualties, we were able to install security fencing around the property and the roof."

He added: "A structural engineer has visited the site and we have been liaising with both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the owner of the property.”

Storm Franklin sparked evacuations in parts of the UK and caused widespread rush-hour travel disruption on Monday.

A yellow wind warning for England, Wales and south-western Scotland was in place until 1pm, while an amber warning for Northern Ireland expired at 7am.

Winds were peaking during rush-hour, according to Greg Dewhurst, senior meteorologist at the Met Office, who added that they will begin noticeably easing around lunchtime.

Storm Franklin's highest gust of 87mph was recorded at the Needles on the Isle of Wight on Sunday evening, followed by current gusts of 79mph on a mountaintop in Wales.

Environment agencies issued hundreds of alerts for flooding across the UK, including two rare "severe" warnings where rainfall could pose a "danger to life" for communities along the River Mersey in Greater Manchester's East Didsbury and West Didsbury and Northenden.

But on Monday, Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig said emergency evacuation operations had been stood down in Didsbury.

She wrote on Twitter: "Thankfully after the peak at 4am, emergency evacuation operations on the ground were stood down and we got through the night without any flooding or damage to properties.

"Thanks again to everyone involved and to the hundreds of residents who were impacted."

*Video footage provided by Kurtis Dornan.

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