Family flee from holiday fire nightmare

AN IPSWICH mum today told of the nightmare moment her family were forced to flee a vicious forest fire while on holiday in Greece.

AN IPSWICH mum today told of the nightmare moment her family were forced to flee a vicious forest fire while on holiday in Greece.

Kim Jennings, 41, of Ashdown Way, in the Racecourse area of the town, said she was concerned for the safety of her husband and two teenage sons as a huge inferno roared across mountainous countryside directly towards the resort where they were staying at in Kefalonia.

With the fierce flames approaching, heavy smoke descended upon the family before they were dramatically evacuated to the safety of a nearby village.

Mrs Jennings today slammed tour operators Thomson Holidays claiming the company took too long in evacuating customers and that the organisation of the exodus was shambolic.


You may also want to watch:


Mrs Jennings said the family first became aware of the fire at around 9am on July 25, six days into the family's two-week holiday in Skala.

Helicopters and planes ferried water from the sea in an attempt to tackle the fire but, despite the efforts, the flames continued to approach the resort, filling the sky with smoke and ash.

Most Read

The family were told to leave their hotel at 1am.

Mrs Jennings said: “We were really frightened by this time. The smoke was really thick.

“We eventually made our way to the beach where it was chaos.

“We were told a bus would pick us up but we had to wait for an hour and a half to be taken away.

“I was worried that we weren't going to get out of it.

“I was scared the whole place would go up and we would be trapped.”

Mrs Jennings, who was with her husband Mark, 44, and two sons, Luke, 17 and Brandon, 14, said: “The fire was visible in the morning so why were no preparations made by Thomsons?

“Why did no reps come to speak to us at any time and why did it take the coaches so long to collect us? It was a shambles.

“We could have burned in that fire and nobody would have known where we were.”

The holiday company was unavailable for comment.

N Have you experienced a holiday nightmare this summer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter