Help floods in after woman flees from fire at her Rainworth home

The family of a woman who had to flee a terrifying fire at her home in Rainworth has thanked the public for its support – and hailed their pet dog for saving her life.

By Richard Silverwood
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 4:55 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 10:46 am
The aftermath of the terrifying fire at Sarah Tomlinson's home in Rainworth.
The aftermath of the terrifying fire at Sarah Tomlinson's home in Rainworth.

French bulldog Dexter sadly died in the fire, but not before saving owner Claire’s White life by ‘barking and screeching’ to wake her up after the blaze broke out on Tuesday night.

Tanya White, Claire’s daughter, saved: “He literally saved my mum’s life. He woke mum by barking and screeching. The house was ablaze.”

A friend launched an appeal for support, including the donation of clothes, and the response has overwhelmed Claire’s family.

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Tanya said: “We’ve lost all family memories, everything in that house, it's all gone.

“The community has been absolutely amazing.”

She said on Facebook: “The amount of support we have received from friends, family and strangers is absolutely out of this world.

"This fire changed our lives forever, so we cannot thank everyone enough. We have cried more times than a little – and we have laughed to try and stop the reality.”

Flames rise into the sky as Tuesday night's blaze takes hold.

After fleeing the blaze, Claire frantically banged on the door of her neighbour Sarah Tomlinson to warn her.

Describing it as “the scariest thing in the world”, Sarah posted on Facebook: “My neighbour’s house caught fire, and a gas explosion happened.

"The whole street was banging on my door down to wake me up.”

As Sarah managed to escape unharmed, eight fire engines were dispatched to the blaze by Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Another photo showing the considerable damage caused by the fire.

A service spokesman said: “Upon arrival, the fire was well alight and was located in the garden of the property.

"An investigation is now under way and we are assisting the police with further investigations.”

Workers from the gas company, Cadent, also rushed to the fire and isolated the gas supply after identifying an external gas leak. They also helped the police to evacuate neighbouring properties.

The ordeal was not over, however, for the Whites and Sarah, who have been left temporarily homeless.

The Whites are currently staying with family, while Sarah said: “We are currently in a hotel for a few weeks, but need somewhere temporary to live for up to six months.

"If anyone knows of any houses to rent, preferably in Hucknall, please let me know. Obviously, it would only be short-term.”

Sarah is originally from Hucknall and also works in the town, so it would be more convenient for her and her family to find somewhere there.

She said: “There’s a big lesson here because you never really know what’s going to happen in life and you should never take anything for granted.”