Schoolgirl raises alarm after blaze in her Essex home

Firefighters were called to a house fire on Tenpenny Hill in Thorrington this morning.A number of pu

Firefighters were called to a house fire on Tenpenny Hill in Thorrington this morning.A number of pumps from surrounding areas were called to assist. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A granddaughter has been hailed a hero after raising the alarm when a fire broke out at her family home.

Firefighters were called to a house fire on Tenpenny Hill in Thorrington this morning.A number of pu

Firefighters were called to a house fire on Tenpenny Hill in Thorrington this morning.A number of pumps from surrounding areas were called to assist. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The 12-year-old girl went downstairs to make breakfast at the house in Thorrington and saw flames in the conservatory.

It is thought the fire began after an electrical fault with the fridge.

The Colne Community School pupil woke up the other five people in the house, as well as the family dog, and led them to safety – long before the smoke alarms went off.

The girl’s grandmother, one of those in the house, said: “The smoke might have overcome the rooms upstairs before the alarms ever went off.

“One of the bedrooms is right above the conservatory, and her parents might not have woken up if she had not seen the flames.

“The door was shut between the conservatory and the kitchen, and the downstairs part of the house is virtually untouched, but the fire spread up into the roof space and spread along the top of the house.

“Often the doors are left open in the summer to let the air circulate, so that was a saving grace as well.

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“If the fire brigade had not got here when they did the whole house would have gone up.

“There has still been a lot of damage and a lot has been lost. We won’t know the extent of it until the insurance company comes round, but it could have been a lot worse.

“Everyone is traumatised.”

The Essex family, who asked not to be named, praised the fire crews for their swift action.

The 12-year-old’s mother added: “They were here within five minutes, about 20 of them.

“They broke into the roof space to stop the fire spreading.

“We are just so thankful everyone got out safely. We are feeling very lucky.

“It was just a chain of events. You don’t expect your fridge to catch fire.”

Fire crews from Colchester, Brightlingsea, Clacton, Frinton and an Incident Command Unit were dispatched to the scene of the fire at 6.48am, and had extinguished the blaze by 8.10am.

As well as saving some of the family’s personal possessions firefighters also rescued a pet corn snake.

Some of the family have been forced to move into an annexe while the children have gone to stay with their other grandparents nearby while the house is repaired.