AN elderly couple were left devastated after a flash storm caused £4,000 damage to their home.
Sheila and John Spruce fled their house, in Fulwell, after gusts of wind blew bricks from above a first-floor window down and into their garden wall.
The couple, of Moran Street, thought a car had crashed into the wall after hearing the bricks falling, just before 9.30pm on Wednesday.
Sheila, 75, said: “I thought I was going to collapse, I got such a shock.
“Then we went outside and the neighbours shoved us back into the house. I’m still shook up – I’m bad with my nerves anyway.”
The couple, who are parents-of-four, called son Paul, a building surveyor.
The 47-year-old said: “It was like a scene from the Blitz when I arrived.
“I took them straight to my house while the police and fire brigade did what they had to do.
“I’m scared the wind is going to lift the roof off the house.”
The couple’s kind-hearted neighbours helped to clear the rubble from the road and pavement, while builders continued the clean-up yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, the night’s high winds blew two barns from a field in High Lane, Newbottle, into a main road.
Power lines were severed and the road was blocked after the wooden barns from Over the Hill Farmsteads were blown onto the carriageway.
Paul Lanagan, who is chairman of Houghton Heritage Society, saw it happen.
He said: “It looked like carnage and the place was in complete darkness.
“I had to climb a fence and cut through the fields to get passed.
“I was pleased to learn later than humans and horses were unharmed.”