Storm Brendan: Gosport neighbours praise 'knights in shining armour' firemen after losing a roof and chimney in high winds

NEIGHBOURS in Gosport who lost a roof and chimney during Storm Brendan have praised their ‘knights in shining armour’ from the fire service.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 1:55 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 4:29 pm

As the bad weather swept through the town earlier this week, a community worked together to get a roof back over the heads of their neighbours in The Avenue.

Sam Winkworth heard a loud noise on Tuesday night which sounded like it came from the loft, but thought it was the strong winds until her elderly neighbour phoned at 10pm to say she had noticed bricks in the driveway.

‘I could see that her chimney had literally blown off and was smashed onto her roof and there were bricks everywhere,’ said Sam, whose husband Dan was out of the house.

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Sam and Dan Winkworth, of The Avenue in Gosport, lost their roof during Storm Brendan and their elderly neighbour's chimney was also damaged. Pictured: The roof after the storm removed the felt

As the neighbours were looking at the debris they noticed what looked like parts of Sam’s roof, so she rushed inside to find her flat roof had blown away.

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Chimney and flat roof blown off neighbouring homes in Gosport

Sam said: ‘I opened the loft hatch and it was basically raining in the loft.’

Fire crews were called to cordon off the houses and worked throughout the night to secure the area.

Sam and Dan Winkworth, of The Avenue in Gosport, lost their roof during Storm Brendan and their elderly neighbour's chimney was also damaged. Pictured: Damage to the neighbour's house

Sam and Dan are very grateful for the quick response, and the help of all their neighbours as their insurance company refused to offer support.

The community rallied round to ensure a replacement for the felt roof was in place in just five hours, with help from Beaver Tool Hire and Travis Perkins.

‘I and my husband were in awe of how helpful our neighbours were,’ Sam told The News

‘Without [the fire service], that night would have been 100 per cent worse. They were our knights in shining armour.

Sam and Dan Winkworth, of The Avenue in Gosport, lost their roof during Storm Brendan and their elderly neighbour's chimney was also damaged. Pictured: New roof completed just after dark

‘They made a fraught situation very calm, and I don’t think they get enough praise for what they do.’

No one was hurt in the incidents but Andy Hunt, crew manager of Gosport Fire Station, admitted he was surprised there were not further episodes following the treacherous weather.

He said: ‘Considering how bad the weather was I’m surprised things were not worse. The main things is that people are safe and the structures are made safe with them getting support from insurance and authorities to repair the damage.’

Sam and Dan Winkworth, of The Avenue in Gosport, lost their roof during Storm Brendan and their elderly neighbour's chimney was also damaged. Pictured: Damage to the neighbour's house