Two escape house blaze
TWO people are lucky to be alive today after fire ripped through their home as they struggled with candles and gas through the current power cuts.Cattsfield woman Jane Maddams and son Jonathan, 21, are today recovering in hospital having escaped their house was engulfed in flames after an accident involving a candle and a gas canister.
By Georgina James
TWO people are lucky to be alive today after fire ripped through their home as they struggled with candles and gas through the current power cuts.
Cattsfield woman Jane Maddams and son Jonathan, 21, are today recovering in hospital having escaped their house was engulfed in flames after an accident involving a candle and a gas canister.
The blaze broke out at the detached property in Cattsfield, Stutton, near Holbrook, at 9.45pm last night as the area was experiencing a power cut.
Neighbour Susan Murton, who was first on the scene to help, explained the night's drama.
"I heard somebody shouting fire and at first I thought it was a joke.
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"I then saw the fire through living room window and went running outside and saw my neighbour being helped out by her son."
Mrs Murton immediately called the fire brigade and ambulance and when she went back outside the boy was complaining that his arm was burning.
"Because of the power cut I couldn't see a thing. My immediate reaction was to put him under my shower and dampened a sheet to cover his arm."
It was not until a neighbour asked Mrs Murton about her two children that she thought about their safety and got them out of bed and led them to safety at a neighbour's house.
Mr Maddams was taken to Ipswich Hospital by ambulance suffering with burns although not believed to be serious. His mother was also taken to hospital suffering with smoke inhalation.
Firefighters believe the fire was caused when a portable gas appliance came too near a lit candle and issued a warning to people using gas appliances to open them outside in an area away from any flame.
Assistant divisional officer Karl Rolfe said: "The occupants are very lucky.
"Obviously bottled gas and naked flames do not mix and the trouble is, people are so unused to having no electrical main power they perhaps don't take the safeguards they should."
Eyewitnesses said the house appeared to suddenly burst into flame, immediately engulfing all floors and the roof.
Mrs Murton added: "What was most frightening was hearing the glass smashing out of the windows.
"The frightening thing is that it could have so easily have been us which is so frightening.
"I explained two my two children James and Connor about how easily accidents happen and how quickly fire can spread. However, being only seven and nine they don't really understand the full consequences."
Three fire crews from Ipswich and Holbrook were called and closed off the B1080 road to allow them access to the main water supply.