Fire ravaged an Edwinstowe house this morning (Monday) and spread to the attached property but luckily the home-owner had already left for work and the neighbours were on holiday, escaping what could have been a tragedy.
A couple driving by the house on Beardsley Road alerted the fire brigade and knocked up neighbours warning them of the danger.
The fire brigade were quickly on the scene from Edwinstowe and were joined by four other teams and the specialist aerial ladder as it was feared people were inside the burning semi-detached house.
“As we came around the bottom of the road we saw the house was well alight with flames coming out of the front bedroom window of number 28,” said Edwinstowe watch manager, Terry Rose. “And after speaking with neighbours we were told there could be people inside so we called out extra teams to help search for possible occupants in the two properties.
“We soon established that in fact all occupants were accounted for but we did manage to rescue three dogs, two cats and a lizard.
“At its height, there were six teams of two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searching the two properties,” added watch manager Rose.
“The fire was too intense at the front and spread to next door’s house through the roof.”
The roof has been completely destroyed at number 28 and the house looks gutted and is uninhabitable.
The couple who live at 26 are away in Cornwall. Their eldest daughter, who lives in Ollerton, was looking after her 15 year-old sister who had returned to the house to pick up some items when she came across the scene.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Chloe Parkes,15, who was holding one of the family’s rescued pets. “I only came to fetch some shoes as I am on work experience this week and saw all the fire engines.
“I called my sister and she told our parents who are obviously shocked by it all.”
Stefan Hubble who lives opposite was just around the corner at his girlfriend’s house when he heard about the fire.
“My sister called me and we looked out the window and saw all the smoke,” said Stefan. “I ran around the corner to tell the partner of the woman whose house it is and she called Tracy, who had left for work, to come back.
“There was just smoke coming out of the roof but within minutes there were flames coming out the bedroom window and the whole house looked alight.”
The family at number 30 were knocked up by the passing motorist and evacuated their home, seeking shelter at Stefan’s home with their two children still in their pyjamas.
“My husband and I were already up but didn’t realise what was happening until someone banged on our door telling us to get out,” said Rachael Moore. “We got the children out of bed and came over to Stefan’s.
“It was so scary how it all just happened. One minute there was just smoke then the whole house was on fire.”
The homeowner was too distressed to speak.
Fire investigation officers are now at the scene to establish the cause of the blaze.