Family tells of fire terror

A DISTRESSED mother from Ipswich today fears her ten-year-old son will suffer a breakdown when he comes to terms with a fire that nearly killed them.Janet and Nathan Widmark were rescued with minutes to spare after a suspected arson attack at their Bramford Lane home on Thursday.

A DISTRESSED mother from Ipswich today fears her ten-year-old son will suffer a breakdown when he comes to terms with a fire that nearly killed them.

Janet and Nathan Widmark were rescued with minutes to spare after a suspected arson attack at their Bramford Lane home on Thursday.

Most of their belongings were destroyed and Miss Widmark said she never wants to live in the house again because of what happened there.

She is also worried that Nathan will be hit by delayed reactions to the ordeal.


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Teary Miss Widmark, 50, said: “I must not crack because then Nathan will. I have to believe they (the arsonists) got the wrong house or I will fall to pieces.

“If Nathan sees me upset, he will do the same, but I know he is going to crack because something will trigger it.”

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The pair were woken by their smoke alarm at around 1am after their front door was allegedly set alight.

Miss Widmark screamed to neighbours for help while Nathan dashed across the landing just as the flames leapt to the top floor.

They shut themselves in Miss Widmark's bedroom and Nathan was close to jumping out of the window to escape as the smoke and flames became too intense to withstand.

Miss Widmark said: “I shouted for someone to help us and I opened the window to get air. Nathan wanted to chuck something out of the window to jump on.

“He would have jumped but the flames were coming from the porch up to the window.”

However, firefighters arrived in the nick of time to pull them to safety down a ladder.

They were taken to Ipswich Hospital to check they had not been poisoned by the fumes and lack of oxygen.

They have now sought refuge with Nathan's godparents, Garry and Connie Pyett, in Sproughton Road, while they sift through their damaged possessions and look for somewhere to live.

Nathan was preparing to return to Whitehouse Junior School today.

As she digests everything that has happened, Miss Widmark today praised the heroic actions of the fire crews and hopes to meet them to say thank you.

But she has been disappointed by the efforts of Ipswich Borough Council to re-house her and has criticised their lack of support.

She is also pleading for the council to find them another house in the same area so Nathan can stay at his school.

Borough housing spokesman Steven Wells said he could not comment on the

A 35-year-old mother and her 17-year-old son, both from Ipswich, have been released on bail after being questioned over the alleged arson attack.

The pair were arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and were released on bail until April 30.

If you would like to help Janet and Nathan, please contact Miss Widmark or Connie Pyett on 01473 742362. Or you can call The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail: starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

NATHAN'S godfather today said the fire stirred up traumatic memories from around 20 years ago when he and his colleagues tried to rescue a woman and her son from a house fire in Ipswich.

Garry Pyett dashed to Miss Widmark's home on Thursday after a call from her neighbours.

As she was being rescued by firefighters, he found Nathan sitting on the kerb and looked after him until they went to hospital.

Mr Pyett, an engineer, said: “I thought 'oh no, not again'.”

Around twenty years earlier, Mr Pyett was working on traffic lights in Spring Road on behalf of Ipswich Borough Council when he and his colleagues dashed to a blaze.

They climbed a ladder and managed to rescue a young boy, but his mother and her other son died in the flames.

Mr Pyett and his colleagues were given counselling at that time to deal with the trauma.

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