A HOUSE was left on the verge of collapse after a mail van smashed into the building while the owners were busy wrapping Christmas presents.

The FedEx van came off the road, veered across a grass verge, and impaled itself into the detached house in Totton rocking a neighbouring home.

Watch manager Rob Burns from Redbridge fire station said: "The whole side of the building was cracked up to the roof. It looked like it was about to collapse. We were stood there watching the gaps getting bigger."

The van was left propping up the house in Warren Place.

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A police spokesman said the occupants, a man and woman, thought to be in their 50s, were "shaken but not injured".

Mr Burns added: "They wanted to go back inside to get their Christmas presents but would couldn't let them in because it look like [the house] was going to fall down."

It is thought road conditions may have contributed to the collision. Four men were in the van at the time. One of them received facial injuries.

An ambulance spokeswoman said two were taken to Southampton General Hospital A 28-year-old from Copythorne was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. He is being held in custody.

The crash happened at 9.30pm last night.

Part of adjoining Calmore Drive has been closed by the highway authority pending an assessment of the damage by a structural engineer.

Ten firefighters from Redbridge and Totton attended the incident.