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TWO Leicestershire residents had a lucky escape when a huge tree came crashing through the roof of their cottage during Storm Franklin.

Gowan and Barbara Wharrier, both 79, were shocked when the tree fell on their 400 year old thatched cottage, which sits in Hill Street, Ashby.

Picture: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Ashby Station

The 200 year-old-tree came down without warning on Monday (February 21), during Storm Franklin, causing the roof of the couple’s cottage, which they have lived in for the past 43 years, to cave in.

The cottage dates back to the 1640s, and is the last thatched cottage in Ashby.

The owners are said to have only had the roof re-thatched last year.

“I saw the roof being redone not long ago. This is devastating,” said one Ashby resident online.

“Must have been a massive shock to the couple who live there.”

“How sad, such a beautiful home,” added another. “Thank goodness for the fire brigade.”

Hill Street was cordoned off while the fire service worked to make the area safe following the incident, which happened at around 11am.

As a result, some homes in nearby Tower Gardens also had to be evacuated.

Just days after Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin swept across the country, another storm ‘Storm Gladys’, hit the UK yesterday. It is set to continue until the end of the week.