Car crashes into house in early hours of New Year's Day
PUBLISHED: 09:42 01 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:57 01 January 2020
A family with two young children have been moved to a hotel after their home was crashed into in the early hours of New Year's Day.
A residential street in Thetford had its peace shattered by a series of loud bangs as a car careered into the house at 12.30am.
Firefighters spent six hours at the property in Gloucester Way, amid fears that collision had made it unsafe.
Lisa Chandler, a neighbour who lives opposite the house, said the family living upstairs had been left shocked.
She said: "I was just taking the the dog into the front room so him barking at the fireworks wouldn't scare my newborn when there were three bangs followed by really big one. I thought 'that isn't fireworks' and came out to see that a car had hit the side of the house. It looks like it was coming down the hill and around the corner but went straight into it.
"The people who live downstairs were out at a New Year party, but the family upstairs who have two small children were in. They came out and were really shaken up."
She added: "The women's partner was just coming home, but she was really shocked. She and the children, who are both under five, both came inside my house while emergency services arrived.
"The fire and police were here until 5am because they aren't sure the building is safe. Apparently there are cracks in the walls inside.
"The family upstairs have been moved out into the Premier Inn. It's not a good start to the New Year."
Returning to inspect the damage on New Year's Day, the occupants of the downstairs property, a man and woman who preferred not to be named, said they had only learnt of the accident after a phone call.
The man said: "We have lived here two years and never had anything like this. It's been very stressful. Though we weren't in at the time, our dog was and we were extremely worried.
"We don't know when we will be able to go back in. There are a lot of problems now with the building."
Norfolk Fire and Rescue was called to the scene shortly after 12.30am.
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Crews from Thetford and Urban Search And Rescue used shoring equipment to make the property safe. They returned to base shortly after 6.30am.
A fire service spokesman said: "We assisted with an unsafe structure. We used our team to help with the unsafe structure."