We felt a huge tremor
A FAMILY shop and flats were evacuated after an articulated lorry smashed into the side of a building and caused a huge crack.
The white heavy goods vehicle crashed into Cottage Promotions, in Newcastle Street, Burslem, yesterday leaving the owners with a bill of around £80,000 to repair the damage.
Now tenants have been left without a place to live as part of the building needs to be re-built.
Shop owner Kevin Beck, aged 52, from Cellarhead, was in the sign makers and printers shop when the smash happened at 10am.
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He said: "We were going about our normal day when we felt what can only be described as a tremor. We didn't know what had happened at first and I thought someone had hit a car. But when we looked there was a huge lorry with a trailer that had hit the building."
Kevin rang the emergency services and evacuated tenants from the five flats that he rents out.
He said: "I have been told by the engineers that it has caused structural damage to the building and will cost insurers £80,000. Tenants from three out of the five flats will need to be relocated and we have been told we can't work from the shop until it is sorted.
"The crash has moved the wall around four inches and it isn't safe."
It is not clear what caused the crash but the driver was unhurt.
It is believed the white DAF lorry was delivering goods to a nearby shop.
Kevin's son Sean, aged 28, a graphic designer, who also works at the shop and hopes to take over the family business, said: "It was a massive shock when I saw the state of the wall and I was appalled. This is a family business and at the moment we can't work here.
"It is going to cause a lot of disruption and you have to consider the tenants who cannot return home yet."
Recovery worker Daevid Williamson, aged 32, has lived at the High View flats above the shop for three years and is now likely to be put in a hotel by the insurers.
He said: "I was at work when it happened but got a call from the shop.
"The damage is all on the outside but because of the extent of it we can't stay there. It is not ideal but these things happen."
A police spokesman said: "Although no one has been injured, it has caused some damage to the building. People came to check the safety of the building, including the council and gas board.
"We closed the road where the building is located. As the building is set back from the street, there is no danger to the public."