A HAMPSHIRE couple are lucky to be alive after a lorry ploughed into their house this morning.

Len and Anne Wiles were asleep in their Gosport home when the Royal Mail lorry smashed into the front of their house, demolishing the stairwell.

They were left trapped upstairs of their home, on the A32 Brockhurst Road, where they had to be rescued by firefighters and the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

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Len, who recently sold the house, said he was lucky to be alive because he would normally be going downstairs to make a cup of tea at that time in the morning.

Three families have had to be evacuated and will need to be re-homed, as the emergency services work to make the property structurally safe.

Officer in charge, Paul Coates said: "Our crews were on scene quickly and worked hard to reassure and rescue the two people who were trapped on the first floor of the property".

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Mr Wiles added: ''The fireman poked his head through the window and said, 'Were you expecting a parcel?'''

The couple have recently agreed the sale of the property and are now hoping the buyer will not pull out.

Mr Wiles said: ''I'm hoping our buyer can hang on until the house is repaired - it's a beautiful house.''

Mrs Wiles said: ''My husband jumped out of bed - went on to the landing and there was a big gaping hole and the front of a lorry.

''We were really, really shook up. My husband broke down because he was going to get up 10 minutes before it happened.''

Police were called to the scene at around 5.45am, along with fire crews from Gosport and Southsea, the Urban Search and Rescue Team, two ambulances and HART.

One person, believed to be the lorry driver, was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.

A police spokesperson said the Wiles had gone to stay with friends while the damage was assessed.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: ''Royal Mail can confirm that an incident took place involving a Royal Mail vehicle. The vehicle collided with a residential property on Brockhurst Road, Gosport.

"We are carrying out an internal investigation into the circumstances and we are thankful that no-one was injured as a result of this accident.''