A HOUSE builder is investigating whether an earthquake in region could be the reason a porch canopy fell off a family's home more than 25 miles away.

The roof of the porch came crashing down from house in Aiskew, near Bedale, on Thursday afternoon – hours after the quake hit Teesside in the early hours.

Caryl James whose husband Alex and children Harri, 7, and Nel, 5, were at home when the structure collapsed, said: "One of my neighbours was outside and he saw it just fall away from the house.

"We had no reason to think there was anything wrong with it. It's not been creaking or coming away from the house. It looked normal. We assumed it was safe.

"Fifteen minutes earlier the kids had come home from school with my husband.

"It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened if they were underneath. We feel incredibly lucky and so thankful they were safely inside the house."

She added: "My concern is there are about 50 houses on the estate with the same design.

"We don't know what our neighbours have been told but some are using their back doors until the matter is resolved."

The Northern Echo:

The canopy came crashing down from above the front door

The family has lived on the estate, which was built by Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire, in Jubilee Road for about six years.

The cause of the collapse is now being investigated by the company.

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire said: “We would like to sincerely apologise to Mr and Mrs James for the distress and disruption this incident has caused.

"We are fully committed to resolving this matter with the affected customers as swiftly as possible and are investigating the cause of the incident as a matter of priority.

“As a responsible homebuilder, customer safety is of the utmost importance to us and we carry out regular checks throughout the build process.

"We are currently investigating the cause of the collapse to establish whether this was linked to the earthquake that affected the area on Thursday morning.”

The 2.8 magnitude tremor hit Stockton just before 6am on Thursday.

Mrs James added: "It's laughable.

"That was 30 miles away, ten hours earlier and it was 2.8 magnitude. It might knock an ornament over or feel like a train was going past the house.

"I don't see how it could affect houses in Bedale."