Blaze tears through family’s ‘dream’ home

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A 64-YEAR-OLD woman has described her ‘nightmare’ ordeal after escaping from a blaze which tore through a family house.

Christine Smith was looking after her daughter’s home, in Thelnetham, when flames ripped through the property on Sunday night.

She managed to flee the fire, which destroyed the roof and all possessions on the first floor of the Fen Lane house.

Mrs Smith, whose daughter Sally Sloan was enjoying a family skiiing holiday in Austria, said: “You just can’t imagine what you’re seeing is true. I thought any minute I’m going to wake up – this is a nightmare.”

She was watching TV at about 9pm when she heard a noise – ‘like a tile being kicked across the kitchen floor’.

Realising it came from outside, she opened the side door and saw red reflected in her daughter’s car.

A slate fell in front of her, she looked up and witnessed the roof ablaze.

Mrs Smith ran down the road to neighbour Brian Green, who called the emergency services before they rushed back to the house to rescue her daughter’s three dogs.

At the incident’s peak, 11 fire engines attended including a water bowser as there was no water supply in the remote area.

The flames were extinguished by 3am. Firefighters managed to salvage furniture and personal items from the ground floor, which was smoke-logged.

Mrs Smith, of Jumilla, Spain, said her daughter, who has lived in the house for four years with husband Graham, daughter Jessica and son Thomas, was ‘beside herself’ after hearing what had happened.

She added: “It’s their dream home.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue said the blaze started in the loft and the cause was being investigated.