Video: Family home in Saxmundham ravaged by blaze
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
A family were forced to flee their home as flames spread through the semi-detached property – left uninhabitable by fire and smoke damage.
Social housing landlords were yesterday working to find a new home for the family following the devastating fire on Tuesday night.
The blaze broke out shortly before 8pm in Saxon Road, Saxmundham, where the community has since rallied to offer the residents food and temporary shelter.
Next-door neighbour Therese Jeffery was in Halesworth at the time of the fire but returned home after receiving a text from her husband. “He said next-door was on fire and that it had taken hold out of nowhere,” she said. “Our neighbour came to bang on the door and say ‘we’ve got a fire, get out’.
“Our children said they opened the door and just saw black smoke.
“The flames blew out the downstairs toilet window and scorched the copper gas pipe. If that had gone, it may have been worse. Their front door just melted.
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“The important thing is that they were able to get out in time.
“Neighbours have been fantastic. It brought everyone together. People donated clothing and what-have-you. There’s also a collection for them.”
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Mrs Jeffery said her employer, Tesco, had donated a number of items to help tide the family over.
It is believed the two adults living in the property stayed overnight with neighbours, while their three sons were put up by grandparents elsewhere in the town.
Elizabeth Gates, who lives in the adjoining property to the fire struck home, said it was “amazing how quickly the fire took hold” but that fire crews had done a “wonderful” job. She stayed in Kelsale overnight with her son, Richard, who said: “I had a call from a friend saying the neighbours’ house was on fire and to get there as soon as I could.
“Her home was not too badly damaged but there was lots of smoke. A neighbour had come and got her out. I think she was quite relieved.”
Another neighbour, Julie Mayhew said: “It hits home when it’s so close to you, especially when you know them. They’re such a lovely family.
Vytautas Strelkys, smelled burning at his home and went outside to see smoke billowing from the house opposite. “Soon I saw flames from the ground floor,” he added. “Firefighters were also spraying water on the next-door roof in case it spread.”
Fire crews stayed to ‘damp down’ after UK Power Networks cut internal power supplies to the property.