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Lucky escape for family after fire sweeps through home
A FAMILY had a close escape after a blaze swept through their home.
Neighbours have spoken of their terror as the flames took hold of the two-bedroom terraced house in Comet Way, Mudeford, on last Monday evening.
The ferocity of the fire was so severe it blew a bedroom window and its frame from the house.
It is understood the occupants were at home when the fire broke out at 5.30pm but they managed to get to safety. Two fire crews from Christchurch and one from Springbourne spent two hours fighting the blaze using four sets of breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets.
The property had smoke alarms, but they were not working. Neighbour Richard Giddings, 64, lives at the end of the terrace and saw the flames bursting 10 to 12 foot from the property.
“We were a little bit worried about it spreading.
“It really brings it home to you how vulnerable things are, especially when you have got joined terrace housing like this.
“It was a good job this didn’t happen at night because it could have been horrendous. Community spirit overflowed as it often does in these situations.”
Scott Jones and Rebecca Randall live next door to where the fire started and lost their electricity following the incident.
Rebecca, 22, said: “We were inside when a neighbour knocked on the door and told us to get out the house.
“I went round to the back of the house and there were flames coming out of the window.
“The houses are only timber-framed and I was really worried it was going to spread.
“Our house stinks of smoke and the loft is really bad.”
John Smith, who lives in nearby Blenheim Drive, captured the incident on camera.
He said: “I looked up and saw smoke billowing out of the house.
“Then there was an almighty boom and the back window smashed clean out.”
Electrical fault blamed
DORSET Fire and Rescue Service say the fire in Comet Way caused severe fire, heat and smoke damage to the first floor, severe smoke and water damage to the ground floor and smoke damage to the loft space.
It is believed the cause of the blaze was an electrical fault in the immersion heater in a bedroom airing cupboard.
Firefighters spoke to residents to hand out fire safety advice and fit two smoke alarms in neighbouring properties.
The Red Cross also attended.
Station manager Karen Adams said: “Crews worked quickly to extinguish this fire, which we believe started in the airing cupboard. Although there were smoke alarms in the house, we do not believe they were working. I cannot stress enough how important working smoke alarms can be. Without testing them once a week and replacing the batteries when necessary, they are just a useless piece of plastic.”
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