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Mouse thought to be cause of devastating fire that tore through family home

PUBLISHED: 06:05 06 July 2020

Bec Drake and her husband Colin amongst the remains of the burnt out workshop where the fire is thought to have started and spread through their home in Stanningfield. The family are having to still live in their fire damaged home as they cannot find any lodgings locally. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Bec Drake and her husband Colin amongst the remains of the burnt out workshop where the fire is thought to have started and spread through their home in Stanningfield. The family are having to still live in their fire damaged home as they cannot find any lodgings locally. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A fire which tore through a Suffolk house leaving a family homeless is thought to have been caused by a mouse chewing through the power cable of an outdoor freezer.

The remains of the burnt out workshop where the fire is thought to have started by a mouse chewing through a power cable. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe remains of the burnt out workshop where the fire is thought to have started by a mouse chewing through a power cable. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Bec Drake, 40, and her husband Colin, 70, were alerted to the blaze by their son who bravely used a garden hose to try to stop the fire from spreading.

Despite his efforts, the fire escalated and jumped from a near-by shed onto their Stanningfield home on Monday, June 29.

The Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service arrived a short time later to tackle the blaze, which they believe may have been started after a power cable for a box freezer located in the shed was chewed by a mouse.

The fire has now left Mr and Mrs Drake, as well as their two sons Joe, 23 and Ric, 18 homeless.

Bec Drake and her husband Colin in their fire and water damaged bedroom after a fire is thought to have started in a workshop and spread through their home in Stanningfield. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBec Drake and her husband Colin in their fire and water damaged bedroom after a fire is thought to have started in a workshop and spread through their home in Stanningfield. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mrs Drake, who was in Peterborough with her husband at the time of the fire, said: “My son smelt smoke but didn’t take much notice at first, people burn stuff out in the country all the time.

“Suddenly he thought for some reason he should go out and have a look and that’s when he discovered that the shed out the back was on fire.”

By the time the fire service had arrived, the blaze had jumped across a small gap onto the Drake’s family home.

Despite being put out quickly, the heat, smoke and water caused significant damage to nearly all of the family’s belongings.

The remains of the burnt out workshop where the fire is thought to have started and spread through the bungalow in Stanningfield. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe remains of the burnt out workshop where the fire is thought to have started and spread through the bungalow in Stanningfield. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It was a properly big fire. It was a right mess,” Mrs Drake said.

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“It jumped into our bedroom which has been completely destroyed.

“All the outside windows are all shattered and some smoke got into the boys bedroom as well.

The Drake family are having to still live in their fire damaged home as they cannot find any lodgings locally. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Drake family are having to still live in their fire damaged home as they cannot find any lodgings locally. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“As much as the fire didn’t spread as such, you can still smell it in everything. It’s a really horrible smell.

“Everything you touch makes your hands completely black.”

The family are currently camping in their living room waiting for their insurance company to pay out before they can find a new place to live.

Mrs Drake said the fire came as a “complete shock” but praised her two sons who have been commended by the fire service for their bravery.

“The boys have been absolutely superb,” she added.

“Even the fire inspector said how brave they were and how well they handled it.”


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