A FAMILY left shocked and bruised after a living room floor collapsed underneath their feet have spoken to the Advertiser about their lucky escape.
Grandmother Gladys Smith, 84, needed hospital treatment after the wooden floor of the John Street house split in two, sending her furniture crashing with her into the cellar.
Firefighters from Ilkeston and Derby fire stations and paramedics spent hours on the scene on Monday afternoon helping Gladys, her two granddaughters and their aunty out of the cellar, and making the scene safe.
The National Grid was also on the scene to turn the gas of because of fears of leaks.
Sisters Joanne and Nicki George had been visiting their grandmother, who had been ill, with their aunty when the floor gave way.
“The floor started to creak,” explained Nicki, 20. “We didn’t know what was happening – we thought it was the furniture making the noise.
“The next thing we were down in the cellar trying to hold mammar upright.”
The granddaughters had been stood behind the sofa where Gladys and their aunty were sat, kissing them goodbye when it happened.
A storage unit at the back wall came hurtling over the sofa, striking Gladys on the head.
Luckily the girls managed to catch it and absorb most of the blow.
“It could have been much worse if we hadn’t have been there,” added Joanne, 24. “She could have been seriously hurt.”
After calling 999, the girls said it was just five minutes before the fire service arrived.
“It felt like hours,” said Nicki.
“Every time you moved something creaked. It was horrible.”
Gladys was taken by ambulance to Royal Derby Hospital where she was treated for her head injury and kept in overnight, but released on Tuesday afternoon.
Neighbour Raymond Stocks heard the commotion at about 4.30pm.
“I was in the kitchen making a cup of coffee when I saw the blue lights,” he explained.
“They blocked the whole street off – people were asked to move their cars to let the fire engines up.”
Gladys’s husband Don thanked the fire service for their help.
“The fire brigade were marvellous – I’m really thankful to them,” he said.
“The wife was really lucky. If that unit had hit her, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Now Gladys and Don, who have lived in the end terraced house for 43 years, have been left to pick up the pieces but, luckily, they were fully insured.
They also have 47 family members in Ilkeston to help them get through it.
“It’s just one of those things,” said Don. “I’m just glad everyone is ok.”
He added: “The wife was complaining because it’s the first time she’s been in hospital for 50 years.”