A POOLE mum has vowed to try and have a good Christmas after a fire caused significant damage to her home.
36-year-old Ester Holcombe, who lives with her grandmother Beatrice and her 10-month-old son Finn, was out when the fire began at the house in Wroxham Road.
But Beatrice was in the living room, and didn’t notice the blaze in the upstairs bedroom until an eagle-eyed neighbour came to get her out of the house.
Ester said: “All the Christmas presents were in another room, and they’ve been really smoke damaged.
“I’ve had to unwrap them all because the smell of smoke is so strong, but the presents themselves will hopefully be fine.”
Ester is temporarily living in her son’s father’s house, but may have to move to her mum’s in the New Year.
The house wasn’t insured, and she doesn’t yet know how much it will be to repair the damage.
The fire was started after the father of her children left a candle burning in the bedroom.
She said: “I told him to remember to blow it out before we left.
“My nan’s cat lives in the house with us, so I keep the upstairs doors closed, and I like to have fresh air so the window was open. I was told having the doors closed stopped the fire from spreading, and the window being open helped the neighbour see it and get my nan out.”
29-year-old Luke Aggas, who lives opposite the property in Wroxham Road, spotted the fire after dropping off some shopping.
He turned to collect his daughter from the car when he noticed the bedroom was ablaze.
“I called 999 when I saw the smoke,” he said.
“You could visibly see flames too. It was a bad fire.”
Mr Aggas and another neighbour ran to the house to see if anyone was inside, and he spotted Beatrice sitting in the living room through the French windows.
He said: “Two fire engines turned up in next to no time, and an ambulance did too.
“They stayed for about two hours. The lady was fine, but a bit shaken up. I think it was a shock for her to see some men running around the side of the house.”
Fire crews called the damage to the property “substantial”.
Station Manager at Redhill Park, Dave Graham, said: “At this time of year candles are lovely to have around the home, but please make sure they are fully extinguished before leaving them.”