Hadleigh community rallies to support family after fire devastates home
PUBLISHED: 19:31 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:32 17 July 2018
A Suffolk family have been left heartbroken after fire destroyed their home and claimed the life of their beloved dog.
Firefighters were called to the four-bedroom house in Ward Close, Hadleigh just after 7.30am today after a blaze broke on the first floor.
The road is used for Army accommodation and the property housed a solider from Wattisham Airfield, his wife and their three children.
Family friend Alison Sargeant, who lives in nearby Malyon Road, said the father got his two sons, 12 and 14, out of the house safely, but despite his best efforts was unable to save their red setter, Eddie.
The man sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital.
The mother and the couple’s five-year-old daughter were not at home when the fire started.
Mrs Sargeant, 37, said: “They are in shock at the minute, I don’t think it would have hit them yet and they are devastated about Eddie.”
She praised the Army welfare team for working quickly to arrange new accommodation for the family, and also commended the support of the community.
Mother-of-two Mrs Sargeant set up an online fundraiser for the family and by 6pm the £500 target had been exceeded by more than double.
Neighbours provided firefighters refreshments and offered gifts of food, clothes and other essentials for the family.
Beaumont Community Primary School, where the daughter attends, also gave donations.
Mrs Sargeant, whose husband is also in the Army, said: “Everyone has been wonderful, it’s very overwhelming.”
Families living in Ward Close were evacuated while the firefighters worked at the scene.
One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said the house went up in flames very quickly.
They added: “You don’t expect it. You are getting up on a normal morning thinking about getting the kids to nursery and then there’s a fire and someone’s life has been turned upside down.”
Six fire engines were sent to the incident.
Dale Willings, temporary station commander at Hadleigh Fire Station, said the home was “well engulfed in fire” when crews arrived and that it started on the first floor.
“On first arrival crews quickly established a well developed fire at first floor level and sent in breathing apparatus teams, established water supplies and awaited oncoming resources,” he added.
Crews from the Ipswich East Station used an aerial ladder platform.
“The crews have worked tirelessly with some help of residents who have pointed us in the right direction, provided refreshments and given us information on location of services for the property and the location of hydrants and things like that,” Mr Willings said.
“It’s been a really hard working job. It’s our local community so it’s really important to us.”
The cause of the fire, which was under control by 9am, is under investigation.