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'The tree had fallen on my house' - Retired man stuck in his home for two days

PUBLISHED: 10:17 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:07 14 February 2020

Patrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree against his house. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Patrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree against his house. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

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A retired farm worker has blasted a housing provider for its lack of communication after a fallen tree left him housebound for two days.

Patrick Monk (oictured), aged 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPPatrick Monk (oictured), aged 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Patrick Monk, of New Sporle Road, Swaffham, was watching television in his front room when he heard "a sort of rumbling and a bump".

He said: "I did not take any notice but then I looked outside my window and saw branches. I then looked out and saw the tree had fallen on my house."

The 78-year-old, who suffers with mobility issues, regularly uses his scooter to get out daily for "good chats with people".

But when the 15ft-high tree collapsed at about 2.30pm during Storm Ciara's high winds on Sunday, February 9, its branches subsequently blocked the entrance to his garden, leaving Mr Monk trapped in his property - amenity housing run by Flagship Homes.

Patrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is a sign of New Sporle Road. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPPatrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is a sign of New Sporle Road. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

He added: "When it happened, four men from the fire service came out but they could not do anything. A fireman put tape up but I thought it was more like decoration than being helpful.

"They came inside and said they've looked at the roof and could see no holes in it.

"I asked them what were they going to do but they said they didn't really know."

Mr Monk has checked his walls for damage but said he could not see any.

Patrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree blocking his gate and pathway. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPPatrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree blocking his gate and pathway. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

"I did not know [the tree] was being removed until they came here to take it down.

"I feel good that it has been removed but it's not very nice to have that standing in your pathway and I couldn't get out."

Mr Monk is also a former employee of Waitrose in the town and has lived in Norfolk for 40 years, 28 of them in Swaffham.

He said he was grateful to a neighbour for helping him with his shopping as he does not have any family who live locally. His three brothers live in Essex, and his sister in Newcastle.

Patrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree against his house. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPPatrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree against his house. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Sam Greenacre, managing director of Flagship Homes, said: "Due to the bad weather last weekend, we received a number of calls from customers regarding damage caused to their properties.

"We were contacted by Mr Monk's neighbour, who notified us that a tree had fallen in his garden and that they would be calling the emergency services. On receipt of this information, we attempted to call Mr Monk, but were unable to make contact.

"The tree has since been cleared by the emergency services and we will continue to try and make contact with him."

Breckland Council sent a representative on the same day it was made aware of the problem to carry out a welfare check and organise for the removal of the tree.

Patrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree being removed. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPPatrick Monk, 78, was trapped in his home in Swaffham after a fallen tree blocked his pathway out. Pictured is the tree being removed. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

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