Man saves wife but loses home

IT took just two minutes for Trevor Hickey’s dream home in Stewart Street in Lennox Head to be completely demolished by the tornado that raged through the village yesterday morning.

He had been standing in the kitchen, looking out the window, when he saw the destructive whirl coming towards him.

“My wife, Elaine, was still asleep in bed at the time,” he said.

“I raced into the bedroom, grabbed her out of bed and pulled her down on to the floor.

“I threw a doona on top of her to try and protect her from what was coming.

“She had no idea what was going on.

“But there was just this huge, roaring noise.

“I can’t even explain it.”

The couple then watched helplessly as the full force of the tornado hit the building and their home crumbled around them.

The two-storey house has been extensively damaged, with walls ripped away and most of the roof now missing.

Windows were smashed and, as Mr Hickey surveyed the disaster zone, rain continued to pour through the open roof, drenching the furniture.

Most of their belongings are broken or soaked by the torrential rain.

The wild storm has effectively left the couple homeless, but Mr Hickey admitted they were lucky to be alive and uninjured.

However he was in shock as he looked around at the pile of rubble which, five years ago, was his brand new home worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We built it; it was our dream home here in Lennox,” he said.

“I just can’t believe it.

“There’s glass and rubble all through the house – it’s an absolute mess.”

Mr and Mrs Hickey’s son, Greg Hickey, owns the house next door but rents it out. The mother and young child in the house received minor injuries.

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