Halloween nightmare for Burton Latimer family as chimney collapses in storm

The home is due to be visited by emergency assessors today

By Sam Wildman
Monday, 1st November 2021, 3:35 pm
Updated Monday, 1st November 2021, 3:38 pm
Damage to the Station Road home
Damage to the Station Road home

One Burton Latimer family suffered their own Halloween nightmare yesterday (Sunday) - after their chimney collapsed into their roof in freakish weather.

The Tapp household were in the comfort of their Station Road home as swirling winds, thought at first to have been a mini-tornado, ripped through the county.

At about 10am they heard a big bang and initially didn't think much of it, believing a tile had fallen from the house.

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Damage to the Station Road home

But when they inspected further they got the shock of their life - discovering a huge whole in their roof after their chimney caved in.

Kirsty Tapp, 44, said: "I saw it and I couldn't believe it. We just said 'oh my gosh'.

"My husband went into the loft and found it (the chimney) had collapsed inwards. We're going to need a whole new roof."

The family only moved to the Station Road home from nearby Bridle Road a year ago and have been renovating it, spending thousands on a new kitchen and log burner.

The home is due to be visited by emergency assessors today (Monday) to see what immediate action can be taken, with an inspection by insurers due to take place on November 4.

The debris is currently being held up by the loft boards and, thankfully, hasn't fallen through into upstairs bedrooms.

Kirsty's son Cameron, 20, was in bed with his partner in the bedroom directly below the chimney when it collapsed.

He said: "If that came through the floorboards we'd have been dead."

The Tapps are fearing the worst if it rains today and the boards get wet.

They had to spend the night at home last night with nowhere else to go, with Cameron sleeping downstairs.

Kirsty, a pharmacy worker for the NHS, said they have had 'amazing' support from neighbours but that they don't know what they're going to do next.

She said: "It was a sleepless night last night. We've got nowhere else to go and we've got three kids and two dogs.

"I don't know what we're going to do. We just laid in bed thinking the whole house was going to come down."

Emergency services dealt with around 400 calls after mid-morning gusts of up to 70mph blew through from Brackley to Corby.

The A14 was blocked westbound near Kettering for around four hours while a fallen tree was cleared from the carriageway.

The freak weather, which left behind a trail of destruction, was widely described as a tornado.

Dan Stroud, an operational meteorologist, said an active cold front moved across the UK, accompanied by an intense small scale low (an area where air pressure is lower than it is in the areas surrounding it).

He said this lead to some very strong winds with gusts over 60mph reported quite widely, and while tornadoes cannot be ruled out entirely, it is thought that the depth of the low was responsible for the strongest wind.