Neighbours save family from blaze

A COUPLE and eight children were saved from a burning house by quick-thinking neighbours who jumped into action as flames spread through the family's front room.

A COUPLE and eight children were saved from a burning house by quick-thinking neighbours who jumped into action as flames spread through the family's front room.

Eagle-eyed neighbours Mark and Anne Street spotted the blaze as it took hold in the downstairs sitting room of the house in High Road, Trimley St Mary yesterday afternoon.

Mr Street today told how he saw curtains in the house across the road from his own catch alight and he immediately became concerned that his neighbours could be inside.

He said: “We'd just got home from shopping. I parked my car on the pavement and I looked across and saw something flickering. I thought it was a reflection first of all. Then I looked again and saw the curtain was on fire.


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“I had my phone on me so I called 999.”

As fire crews were dispatched Mr and Mrs Street and their daughters Laura and Megan desperately tried to alert anyone who was in the house. At first they thought no one was home but when a woman answered the door they were shocked to find ten people, including eight children, were inside.

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Mr Street said: “She had no idea it was on fire. We said 'do you know your house is on fire'?

“The kids were upstairs. They had a mini disco going on so they had no idea.

“Once we told her she was saying 'my house is on fire, my house is on fire'.

“We couldn't believe how many kids were coming out.”

It is thought the children had been celebrating a recent birthday in an upstairs room.

The blaze broke out in the house at the junction of High Road and Faulkeners Way at about 4pm yesterday. The people inside escaped as the fire spread and a front window was blown out as the intense heat built inside the room.

The first firefighters arrived within four minutes and the fire was extinguished by 4.20pm. Two fire crews, two police patrols and an ambulance attended.

The couple and the children had escaped the house before firefighters arrived. They were checked by ambulance officers as a precaution but were unharmed.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service assistant divisional officer Paul Seager said the youngest child in the house was aged about three, while the oldest was about 12.

He said a smoke alarm was only triggered once the front door was opened.

He added: “The bulk of the fire seems to have been concentrated on an armchair.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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