'It's a wreck' - Exeter families allowed home to assess WW2 bomb damage

  • Watch Claire Manning's full report

Families in Exeter who were forced to leave their homes have been allowed back to assess the damage after a Second World War bomb was detonated.

Some properties have been described as "a wreck", with some people living in the blast zone having lost possessions.

People who live within the 100-metre exclusion zone have returned to assess the damage caused to their homes.

Wojcich's family home was evacuated after the discovery of the bomb on Friday night. He was visibly distressed by the devastation he saw when he returned.

He said: "[I’m upset] quite a bit, my wife was devastated last night. We didn’t take our son to see how the property looks like.

"He was born here, he has lived here for seven years so I know it’s going to be tough for him but we have to keep [going] together and wait for how the situation is going to be handled."

The explosion caused windows to be blown-out and doors were left hanging off their hinges, although some residents acknowledge the damage could have been worse.

Stephen Morris, a resident evacuated from his home, said: "It’s my home, I’ve lived here for 25 years on the estate.

"I’m a local Exeter boy and you know, it’s just my home. I’m just relieved that everything is ok now."

His daughter, Samantha Morris, added: "A window and that can be fixed can’t it?

"A bit of brick on the roof can all be fixed but your possessions like other people on the estate have lost is a lot worse than what my Dad obviously has."

There were three girders which ITV News understands were used to help pack the bomb down prior to the explosion.

They ended up travelling 100 metres after the blast, with one landing on a roof of a nearby property and another in a garden.

Apartment buildings and houses have sustained damaged to their roofs, windows, and doors because of the explosion. Credit: ITV West Country

Emily Jarvis-Chase, a student whose home was evacuated, said she felt for people who have lived in the area for years.

She said: "Yes it’s my house, but it’s only my house for a year whereas my next door neighbour, she’s been there for 20 years and it’s a wreck.

"I feel really bad for them."

LiveWest, part of the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone, and Exeter City Council have been escorting people to their properties to collect possessions and survey the damage.

Jon Paul-Hedge, director of Exeter City Council, said the council will remain on site for as long as it takes to support residents.

He said: 'We’ve been in and looked at the properties and there’s no properties that are going to fall down, that was the big thing.

"There is a huge amount of damage to the properties so we know who these people are now and they know us and we’ve got an individual officer for them who’ll take them through the cordon.

"We’ll put security on site to protect the house while they’re sorting out their bits and pieces trying to get their lives back in order."

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