Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Sally Strutt speaks about the horrifying moment her van burst into flames – with her daughter and nine dogs inside

08:23 11 July 2014

Sally Strutt, with dogs Amber and Jazzy, rescued her four-year-old daughter Olivia and nine dogs from her van that burst into flames as she was driving off the A12.

Sally Strutt, with dogs Amber and Jazzy, rescued her four-year-old daughter Olivia and nine dogs from her van that burst into flames as she was driving off the A12.

A mother-of-two has spoken of the “terrifying” moment she had to pull her four-year-old daughter and nine dogs from a van that was going up in flames.

And she also thanked the emergency services and passers-by who helped her through the shocking ordeal.

Dog trainer Sally Strutt was driving her Vauxhall Movano van on Wednesday afternoon when she noticed a strange burning smell.

The 30-year-old had nine dogs in the back of the specially adapted van and daughter Olivia in the passenger seat.

And when she pulled to the side of the road Miss Strutt realised something was very wrong.

“I came off the A14 to go towards Sproughton and within five second there was a burning smell coming from the dash,” she explained.

As she got out to look at the car she noticed the flames in the engine bay.

Miss Strutt said: “I pulled my little girl out and told her to go as far away as possible. She found it terrifying.”

Miss Strutt then worked to free the dogs.

“I started off by getting them out on their leads and then realised I didn’t have time for that, so I opened the doors, they ran out and a man helped round them up.

“I owe so much to him for holding onto them. All I know is he was from a garage. He was wonderful.

“There were lots of nice people who stopped but he was there from the beginning.”

Miss Strutt managed to get all the dogs out, but sustained burns to her hands as the van was quickly engulfed in flames.

“It had exploded by the time the fire brigade got there,” she said. “I was terrified.

“I just felt incredibly lucky. I may have lost possessions but they can be replaced.

“It felt unreal. I didn’t think It was possible.”

Miss Strutt, who lives in Little Wenham with Olivia, her partner David Crissell, 30, and elder daughter Sarah, seven, said she had no idea how the fire started.

“There was no indication,” she said. “It’s had regular services and MOTs.

“There were no warning lights, nothing to indicate a problem.”

Miss Strutt wanted to thank everyone who gave assistance during the fire.

“They were incredible. They were all very supportive. I can’t thank them enough.”

Miss Strutt, who lost a lot of her diaries and work documents in the fire, has asked her clients to get in touch so she can start to piece her business back together.

She would also like to thank the passers-by in person. She can be contacted at sallyssuffolkdogs@gmail.com.

Related articles

1 comment

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Stock image of the Dominican Republic.

A Clacton couple who fell ill during a special break to celebrate their Ruby Wedding anniversary are to receive compensation after a ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Stock image of the Hawthorn Drive shopping area in Ipswich.

Police are stepping up patrols in the Chantry area of Ipswich after a man apparently tried to abduct an eight-year-old boy.

Delays in Norwich Road, Ipswich. Pic: Paul Geater.

Rush hour commuters face a week of delays in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich after a sewer collapsed.

Fans of Tom Jones show off their memorabilia as he performs at The Regent Theatre in Ipswich in November 1992

In the last few weeks he has made his return to The Voice UK but back in 1992 Welsh superstar Tom Jones was gracing the stage in Ipswich.

Cllr John Spence

Households in Essex are due to pay an average of £33.50 extra next financial year in council tax under plans unveiled by County Hall and fire chiefs.

Sudbury's Saturday market is not as well attended as the town's Thursday market

Market traders in Sudbury who are facing a 5% increase in stall fees this year will be asked how the twice weekly markets could be made more attractive to shoppers.

Pigeon Point, Tobago

It was a country like no other. Here’s what I loved about the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago and why you should grab the chance to visit.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24