Family saved day after Christmas blaze

A CHRISTMAS day blaze could have spelt the end for the festive celebrations in the Ryder household - but it was family who saved the day after the dining table caught fire.

A CHRISTMAS day blaze could have spelt the end for the festive celebrations in the Ryder household - but it was family who saved the day after the dining table caught fire.

Jennifer and Barry Ryder today told how they were about to sit down for Christmas dinner on Monday when a blaze broke out on their dining table, destroying furniture and sending the family into panic.

But, it was family to the rescue after her sister - who Mrs Ryder had not spent Christmas with for 20 years- dashed home to provide more tables and chairs to make sure the dinner could go ahead.

The drama began at around after the family was alerted to the fire by the smoke alarms and the barks of their German Shepherd Dog, Prince.

Most of the family was either in the kitchen or upstairs at the time. It is thought the blaze was started by a candle on the dining room table.

Mr and Mrs Ryder, of Riverside Road, Ipswich called the fire brigade but Mr Ryder managed to quell the flames before they arrived.

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The 37-year-old said: “There are three burnt patches on the living room carpet and the table and chairs went up.

“I grabbed the table and chairs and threw them outside and my wife called the fire brigade.

“My instinctive reaction was to grab some tea towels and soak them in water and get the chairs out of the house.”

There were about 11 people in the house when the fire started including the couple's children Barrie, 15, Michael-Thomas, 12, and Ryan-Lee, nine, and four other children aged from five to 16.

Mrs Ryder, 38, said: “I was a bit upset because it was the first Christmas I had spent with my sister in 20 years.

“There were quite a lot of flames and my little nine-year-old screamed because you associate fire with death.

“It didn't ruin Christmas though. We managed to have the meal and everything because we went down to my sister's house and borrowed a table and chairs.”

Mr Ryder suffered a minor burn to his finger in the blaze. He said there was probably about £1,400 to £1,500 of damage to the room but it would be covered by insurance.

n. Did you have a Christmas day drama? Contact The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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