It looks like a real-life dolls house but this was the scene after the whole rear wall of a house in Egremont, Cumbria, was washed away by a swollen river. A street was sealed off after the end-terrace house dramatically crumbled into the rain-swollen River Ehen early yesterday morning.
Thankfully the family inside the house escaped alive as they had been staying at another property. The Environment Agency said the river had more than doubled its level from a normal 0.6 metres to more than 2 metres in just 24 hours. Elsewhere, a number of homes in Penrith Road, Keswick, were evacuated amid fears of a possible collapse after the River Greta swept away part of the riverbank.
The alarm was raised just after 6am when residents were woken by a loud rumble and a splash as part of the house crashed into the river. Stunned house owners Ken O'Hara and Belinda Taylor were alerted by the police after they had been staying in the Black Beck hotel, which they also own. Ken said: "I couldn't believe it when the police told me, it's unbelievable.
"It just shows what can happen. Luckily there was no-one in at the time it happened. It would have been awful if there were." He said the top two floors of the four-storey home were rented out to Sellafield workers, who were also not there as they had been away for the Bank Holiday. The couple, who live in the bottom two floors, stood watching helplessly as their possessions were battered by raging waters. They salvaged what possessions they could before what remained of the house was demolished.