Firefighter thought his family might die
Many residents had incredibly lucky escapes as the earthquake struck on Saturday morning. Despite chimneys crashing into houses and from roofs, only one woman was reported to be injured as a direct result of the quake. In this special feature, the victims
AN OFF-DUTY firefighter had to drag his children from the soot-filled living room of their home after the chimney stack collapsed.
Vic Thorogood works as a watch manager at Folkestone fire station and lives in Canterbury Road.
He said: “I was in the kitchen. Suddenly the house shook and there was a massive ‘whoosh’ of air followed instantaneously by a massive dust ball going out of the door.
“I ran into the living room. It was completely black, I couldn’t see a thing.
“My three-year-old son Alex was shouting, ‘Dad! Dad!’ I found his foot, grabbed him, picked him up and dragged him out.”
Mr Thorogood took his son and five-year-old daughter Abbey out into the street, where he was joined by other shocked residents.
He added: “I could see people coming out of their houses and I heard sirens.
“I realised this was a bigger incident than I first thought.”
He had been getting his family ready for a day out when he heard a loud bang and felt the earth shake.
That was the combination of the tremor and the chimney falling through the house. He said: “It felt like a massive explosion. We were all really shaken. I thought we might die.”
Vic Thorogood of Canterbury Road, Folkestone, in his living room which is black with soot from a collapsed chimney