Bury St Edmunds: Three ‘so lucky’ to escape Winthrop Road house blaze

THREE people are today lucky to be alive after a ferocious fire ripped through their home as they slept.

Alex Storey, 25, was asleep at his home in Winthrop Road, Bury St Edmunds, when he woke to find his bedroom filled with smoke around 4.10am on Saturday.

“I sat up in bed and it was like my head was in a cloud,” he said. “The smoke was so thick.”

Windows at the back and side of the house were blown out by the heat of the flames, which had developed in the back bedroom of his home.

Thinking quickly, Mr Storey woke his girlfriend, Shari Gardiner, 19, and grabbed a dressing gown on the back of the bedroom door so she could cover her face.


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Mr Surrey’s lodger, Luke Hayden, 26, was asleep on the sofa downstairs.

“I ran downstairs to wake Luke up,” Mr Storey said. “I quickly wet the dressing gown then went back upstairs to get Shari out. I just said ‘Cover your head and your face.’”

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Fire crews from Bury tackled the blaze which was well developed in the back bedroom and managed to stop the flames spreading to the house next door.

Picking through the charred rubble on Saturday, Mr Storey said he felt lucky to be alive.

“I keep thinking, we were so, so lucky,” he said. “We were lucky I woke up when I did.”

By chance, Mr Storey, had walked into Mr Hayden’s room earlier in the night by mistake, waking him up.

Unable to get back to sleep, Mr Hayden had moved downstairs in a move which may have saved his life.

All three were able to escape the house and Mr Storey ran to raise the alarm with his next-door neighbours, John, 83, and Daphne Scott, 85, who were able to get out of their home.

Fire crews battle the blaze and managed to bring the fire under control by 5.17am.

The three occupants of the house were treated for smoke inhalation by ambulance crews.

An investigation is now under way into the cause of the fire.

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