'Miracle' as Islington boy escapes injury after ceiling collapses above him
- Credit: Lianne O'Bryan
A boy "narrowly escaped death" according to his mum, as the ceiling in his Islington bedroom collapsed above him in the middle of the night.
When a "loud bang" woke Lianne O'Bryan from her sleep three weeks ago, she thought her baby had fallen out of his cot.
But after checking the infant, and then in her daughter's room next door, the 36-year-old went to her eldest son's room at their home in Coombs Street, St Peter's.
She couldn't believe her eyes.
"In all honesty I thought it was a fire," said Lianne.
"The smoke was horrific, and because my son couldn't see he was panicking.
"I dragged him out of there, as he had frozen."
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Lianne soon realised there was a big hole in the ceiling of the home she rents from housing association Peabody.
Luckily the plaster and thick, damp chipboard which had fallen off didn't hit her 13-year-old son, but his entire bedroom was littered with the broken slabs and a layer of dust.
Lianne believes divine intervention spared her son from death or, at the very least, serious injury.
"My children's dad passed away and I tell myself that his dad was protecting him," she said.
"The ceiling had woodchip paper on it, which goes to show how old it is. The paper is strong and it held, and dragged the ceiling back to the wall where it slid down behind the bed and not onto him.
"To me it's a miracle, how that massive hole in his ceiling has come down all over the floors and the bed, and as far as I know, he wasn't hurt."
The two-storey house and its basement has been in a chronic state of disrepair since Lianne and her family moved in last year, and they already had to move into temporary accommodation once before for six weeks while repairs were carried out.
"It's been nightmare on nightmare. It's like the house of doom," said Lianne.
"My son is traumatised and he doesn't want to go back to the house.
A Peabody spokesperson said: “We know this situation hasn't been easy for Lianne.
"We arranged for repairs which are nearly done.
"We are not asking her to return to her home until these are completed.
"The front room ceiling has been re-plastered and decorated and we've repainted the walls.
"We're also repairing the ceiling in the other room which we have discussed with Lianne."