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Neighbour's terror as Blackburn house collapses
Updated 5:05pm Thursday 1st May 2014 in News
A NEIGHBOUR has described the terrifying moment the building next door partially collapsed sending bricks flying into his yard.
The extension at the back of the end of terrace crumbled away with a ‘big bang’ shortly after builders had finished working on it for the day.
The roof folded in on itself and the back wall bowed out leaving a gaping hall in the back of the property.
Police had to cordon off part of the street over fears debris could fall from the Audley Range building and hit somebody.
Firefighters were also brought in so that an aerial ladder platform could be used to help survey the damage.
Yesterday the safety and stability of the building was being investigated by a structural engineer and builder.
Kamil Krzyszczak, who lives next door, said he had been told not to go into his back yard in case more rubble fell.
The 28-year-old machine operator said: “I heard a big noise.
“We are lucky we were not hurt because it is at the side of our home.
“The inspector said we should not go into our back yard because it is dangerous.
“I was scared because the noise was so loud and some of the bricks came into the yard.”
The building, on the corner of Lincoln Road, has planning permission to become a restaurant and Asian sweet centre and work was underway to convert it.
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It was empty when it partially collapsed.
Hyndburn crew manager Liam Barker said firefighters were called to the scene around 9pm on Tuesday.
He said: “The roof had collapsed and pushed the wall. It was into the roof space.
“We used the aerial ladder platform as a viewing platform and removed the overhanging masonry.”
Permission was granted to applicant Mohammed Yasin in October 2013 for the installation of a new shop front with replacement first floor windows and creation of a dormer and single-storey extension.
An objection was submitted by Hassan Sonde, who raised concerns about traffic congestion. He also said he was worried the creation of a dormer would restrict the amount of light reaching properties behind the structure.
The building’s owner, who asked not to be named, said she bought the property around six months ago and Tuesday’s collapse was because the internal joists were not strong enough.
She said: “It is an old building. There is nothing wrong with it.
“The builders were going to take the roof down anyway.
“The nice thing was it all fell inside and did not come out in the street. There is nothing to worry about because the builders are on it.”
Workmen were assessing the building yesterday.
Audley ward councillor Zamir Khan, who knows Mr Yasin, said: “I will be looking into this. I shall pop down and have a look.
“As ward councillor, public safety has to be my first and foremost concern.
“The first question must be whether the owner was following planning rules and building regulations.
“It he was, there may be wider implications in terms of the structural safety of other buildings in the area.
“I am sure the relevant people from the council, the fire brigade and the police will be looking into this.
“A collapse like this is obviously a matter of concern to me. This is a matter for buildings inspectors to look at.”
Sayyed Osman, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s director of environment, housing and neighbourhoods, said work was being done to make sure the building was safe.
He said: “The council’s building control team is responsible for building safety and has been collaborating with the emergency services to secure the house.
“Further investigations are ongoing with the structural engineer and a builder to ensure further safety and stability of the building.”
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