Family flee attic blaze

By Jenni DixonA FATHER has told how he had to grab his five-month-old son and flee their home after a fire broke out.Lowestoft College lecturers Nick Barrett, 41, and Wanda Gaines, 29, were having a dinner party with two friends at their home in Quay Street, Halesworth, on Monday evening when a neighbour alerted them to smoke coming from their attic window.

By Jenni Dixon

A FATHER has told how he had to grab his five-month-old son and flee their home after a fire broke out.

Lowestoft College lecturers Nick Barrett, 41, and Wanda Gaines, 29, were having a dinner party with two friends at their home in Quay Street, Halesworth, on Monday evening when a neighbour alerted them to smoke coming from their attic window.

Mr Barrett ran up the stairs of their end terrace house to find the recently-refurbished attic study well alight.

He got everyone - including baby son Max - out of the house and then called the fire brigade to tackle the blaze, which started from a transformer plug attached to a computer printer.

“The firemen thought if the fire had been left for another half-an-hour, things would have been a lot worse. Thankfully, everything we have lost is replaceable,” said Mr Barrett.

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Fire crews from Halesworth, Bungay and Southwold were called to tackle the blaze and decided to evacuate the next-door property as they were worried the flames might spread through the roof.

The fire crews managed to contain the blaze and had it under control in an hour.

Paul Seager, assistant divisional officer operations commander at Suffolk Fire Service, warned the public against placing transformers in potentially-dangerous places.

“Transformers should not be put on carpet or stacked on anything or in restricted spaces, especially when there is paper nearby,” he said.

“Always ensure there is plenty of room for hot air generated by transformers to escape.”

jenni.dixon@eadt.co.uk

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