Karen Jackson is ‘smiling for the first time’ as Honey the hamster discovered alive in Sudbury fire wreckage

Honey the hamster is safe and sound after being found alive five days after the Sudbury fire ripped

Honey the hamster is safe and sound after being found alive five days after the Sudbury fire ripped through Karen Jackson's home. - Credit: Archant

The Friars Street blaze ripped through the building Karen Jackson called home for ten years.

Honey the hamster is safe and sound after being found alive five days after the Sudbury fire ripped

Honey the hamster is safe and sound after being found alive five days after the Sudbury fire ripped through Karen Jackson's home. - Credit: Archant

Today saw smiles return to face of one victim of the Sudbury fire, as she was reunited with her much-loved hamster that somehow survived Sunday’s town centre inferno.

The roof of her flat had collapsed and what escaped being crushed faced smoke and water damage as 100 firefighters battled against the inferno.

Karen, 52, explained how she came to be reunited with Honey, her treasured hamster. “I thought we had lost her,” she said. “When we were evacuating I had no idea how bad it was going to be.

“I couldn’t get her out the window in the cage, and I couldn’t hold her and climb the ladder, so I covered her cage with a coat and hoped for the best.”

Honey the hamster is safe and sound after being found alive five days after the Sudbury fire ripped

Honey the hamster is safe and sound after being found alive five days after the Sudbury fire ripped through Karen Jackson's home. - Credit: Archant


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As the fire raged, Karen thought Honey and her prised possessions were likely lost to the flames. The building she lived in, Goldsmith’s Mansion, collapsed, with her flat at the rear just about still standing.

“I saw on the weather that a storm was coming, and I had some really precious items in there that meant a lot to me,” she said.

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With a pearl necklace and earrings from her dad, David Jackson, who died 18 years ago, and the wedding ring that she is due to use when she marries her fiancé Gary Naven still inside, she asked the firefighters to climb up to their flat and help.

“He must have lifted the coat up and seen Honey still in her cage and still alive after five days,” she said. “She is my baby, I love her so much and I think we are going to have to rename her Lucky.

“It seems a bit strange, some people say it is only a hamster, but she means a lot to me. I got her a year ago as a birthday present.

“When the building started really burning, the thing I was most upset about was Honey.”

Not only did Honey, now in a new cage kindly given for free by Sudbury’s Pets at Home, return to Karen. The precious items were also safe and well.

She said: “I have been smiling today for the first time in a while. It has been one brilliant day after a week of feeling awful.”

She was full of praise for everyone who has been offering to help her and Gary, with the council putting them up in tempoary accommodation in the town as well.

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