Crews from Northshore SES were called into action last night after a car was accidentally driven straight through the central supporting column of a double garage, causing significant structural damage to the property, and leaving two large steel lintels precariously unsupported. Police, Fire and Rescue and SES were all mobilised to the incident, which was caused by one of the homeowner’s accidently putting the vehicle into the wrong gear.
On arrival, the first priority for Northshore SES Team Leader Michael Wood was to make the area as safe as possible and to prevent further collapse. The team of 5 initially propped the roof structure which had sagged significantly due to support column having been flattened by the impact of the vehicle. Once the potential for further collapse had been minimised, the team then carefully considered and agreed on the best way to remove one of the two roller doors and 2 x double cavity steel lintels that were hanging from both side walls.
“It was a very delicate process” said Michael. “Each lintel was literally ‘hanging in the air’, supported only at one end by brickwork, which in itself was close to collapsing. There was a real danger that our intervention could cause one entire wall of the garage to collapse, so the team worked brick by brick to ensure that we stayed in control of the situation as best we could”.
Michael added “One of the steel lintels had pierced the windscreen of the vehicle and come to a rest on the dashboard, and as a result both it and one of the side walls of the garage were being supported by the vehicle, so that added further complexity in that we had to work around the vehicle without moving it, for fear of having the side wall collapse”.
Local Manager Northshore SES Nick Elliott said that he was very proud of the teams efforts, especially with such a small crew. “Having been faced with what can only be classed as significant structural damage resulting in a very precarious situation, the team worked cohesively, bouncing ideas off each other and continually ensuring that everyone was happy with what was going to happen next, before anything actually occurred”.
Once the steel lintels had been safely removed, the team proceeded to shore-up and remove loose brickwork before clearing up and handing the property back to the homeowner.
Both home and vehicle were insured.