Little Thurlow: Father pulls barely conscious daughter from attic room as fire sweeps through home
16:55 27 January 2014
A father rescued his semi-conscious teenage daughter as a fire raged through the top floor of their family home in a west Suffolk village.
Lewis Huelin and his wife Lucy, who live at a property called the Grange on the Street in Little Thurlow, near Haverhill, were awoken by shouts just before 3am yesterday.
Mr Huelin raced to the attic room of his daughter Emily, 18, and managed, through thick, black smoke, to carry her from her bed to safety. They had been alerted by Emily’s friend, Owen, who was staying with the family and has been credited with saving everyone’s life because of his calls.
Yesterday, Mr Huelin, Owen and Emily, who is a media student at Cambridge Regional College, were being treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge while Mrs Huelin and Jack Russell Millie were staying with her parents, who live next door.
Mrs Huelin said: “I’m just grateful everyone got out alive.
“Lewis was amazing. The smoke was thick and black and he couldn’t see but he managed to get to Emily who was slipping in and out of consciousness because of the smoke.
“If it hadn’t been for Owen shouting , she – maybe all of us – would be dead.”
Still traumatised by the devastating events of yesterday morning, Mrs Huelin said she helped another of her daughters, Anna, 11, and her friend, who were sleeping on the same floor, from the house, while Owen escaped through a dormer window and scuttled down the roof to raise the alarm.
“The paramedics turned up first and then the fire crews. They have been brilliant – they were here from 3am to 1pm and they saved so many of our possessions,” added Mrs Huelin
“Our neighbours have also rallied around and have offered help.”
More than 30 firefighters tackled the blaze in the three-storey Grade-II listed house, which gutted the attic floor, damaged the second floor and rendered the ground floor uninhabitable.
After tackling the initial fire, the crews used thermal imaging equipment because they feared it was spreading to voids in the roof.
As the morning wore on, they spent a considerable amount of time removing roof tiles from the property and damping down hot spots.
While the cause of the fire has not been officially announced, Mrs Huelin said she believes it originated from an electric heater in Emily’s room.
The £685,000 property had just been sold, and parts of it date back to 1680.
“It is my family home. I’ve lived in it all my life. But I’m just so glad everyone is okay,” added Mrs Huelin.