TWO adults and their three-year-old grandchild are lucky to be alive after deadly smoke filled their Poole home as they slept early this morning.
Andy and Bud Cherry were looking after their young grandson, Ethan, when an electrical fault with a toaster sparked a fire in the kitchen.
Thick smoke quickly filled the semi-detached house in Cromwell Road, Upper Parkstone, around 6am.
The Cherry’s dog woke Andy up, who then sprang into action when he realised the smoke alarm was sounding.
“The dog started barking and as I came to, I heard the smoke alarm,” Andy told the Daily Echo.
“I woke up, there was a smoke in the room. I went out to the landing and there was lots more thick, acrid smoke, so I shouted to my wife to get Ethan out.
“I got them all downstairs and out of the front of the house.
“It was so thick I couldn’t see coming down the stairs.
"If the door leading to the kitchen had not been shut, this smoke would have billowed upstairs and I don’t think we would have got out at all.”
The couple’s pet cat, Chloe, was killed in the drama – and another three cats went missing from the house. The fire brigade resuscitated another of their cats.
Andy, aged 58, said: “After calling 999 the fire brigade was here in a few minutes. They were brilliant.
“Thankfully, we all got out before we were affected by the smoke. The main thing is that none of us was hurt.”
Dorset Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) has confirmed an electrical fault with a toaster caused the blaze.
The kitchen of the property was gutted by the fire and the rest of the house sustained significant smoke damage.
The house is uninhabitable, so the couple have moved in with their son.
Four DFRS firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, fought the flames. Crews from Westbourne and Redhill fire stations attended.