Teen’s lucky escape escape as concrete slab crashes outside her Sunderland home

Joanne Gunn, of Renfrew Road, Red House, Sunderland, pictured with her daughter Kirsty (16) and her dog Cody. Kirsty was siting on the doorstep with her dog when part of the concrete surrounding the door and window collapsed.

Joanne Gunn, of Renfrew Road, Red House, Sunderland, pictured with her daughter Kirsty (16) and her dog Cody. Kirsty was siting on the doorstep with her dog when part of the concrete surrounding the door and window collapsed.

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A TEENAGER says she was almost crushed by crumbling concrete at her home – despite her landlord’s assurance the property was safe.

Mum Joanne Gunn, 38, is horrified that her 16-year-old daughter Kirsty was almost hit by a three-feet-wide lump of concrete which fell from the doorway of her Gentoo home in Renfrew Road, Red House, Sunderland.

The Echo reported in February how a concrete canopy had collapsed outside a home in Pennywell, sparking a city-wide health and safety audit.

Gentoo, however, stressed that the Gunns’ family home was not the same as those in Pennywell, and it was a lintel that had collapsed – not a canopy.

Mrs Gunn said: “My bairns are my life, and if that block had hit her she wouldn’t be here.

“It’s ridiculous, and what really makes me mad is that they came out and checked it and said it was fine.”

Mrs Gunn, who has two other children – Rebecca, also 16, and Brandon, 10 – was out shopping when her daughter went to the front step with her dog Cody.

The pair narrowly avoided being hit when the concrete collapsed.

“I found out what happened when I got back, and I was horrified,” said Joanne. “When the weather is nice we sit out the front at tea time. We get more sun there that time of day.

“We were just sitting out there the other night. What would have happened if it had fallen down then?

“My son’s friend had come to knock on the door just about 10 minutes before this happened.”

Mrs Gunn, who has lived at the property for eight years, called the housing firm immediately after the collapse.

Gentoo trussed up the lintel with wood, but the struts were visibly starting to bend under the weight when the Echo called at the house.

Ian Porter, managing director of Gentoo Sunderland, said: The damage to this lintel is unrelated to the completely separate issue of the canopy failure earlier this year which is in hand.

“Following an inspection of this property it has been concluded that damage was caused by general wear and tear/weather erosion which caused damage to the drip edge of the lintel.

“Safety measures are now in place and the lintel will be repaired as soon as possible.”