A MOTHER and her 12-year-old son had a lucky escape when their home was gutted by fire.

Claire Masterson, 34, and son Thomas were both staying elsewhere when the blaze started at their council-owned terraced property on Hywelfa in Southsea, Wrexham in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Two of the family’s three cats perished in the fire, which is believed to have been started by electrical equipment overheating.

Claire had gone camping with friends in Barmouth on Saturday while Thomas was staying with his grandmother in Penycae.

She said: “We found the cats upstairs. If we had been there too, with the fire downstairs, how would we have got out?”

Claire, who has lived at the property for 13 years, said Thomas had been left distraught by the news that pet cats Tink and Moley had died.

But she added: “I am gutted about the cats, but at least me and Thomas are alive to tell the tale.”

Claire arrived back at the house on Sunday morning after being told about the blaze by a friend.

Flames gutted the interior of the property, stripping plaster from walls and destroying the family’s possessions.

“I got a text message from my mate to say there had been a house fire on our street,” said Claire.

“I phoned 999 and got confirmation it was my home. I thought ‘oh my God, I’ve got to get home’.”

Claire, who works at McDonald’s in Wrexham town centre, says she and Thomas will stay with family and friends pending a visit to the council offices tomorrow morning. Her household contents had been insured.

She said: “We are just so lucky we weren’t inside.

“We’ve heard the girl next door tried to break down our door when she saw the fire because she wasn’t sure whether we were in or not.

“We’re going to try to salvage what we can. Thomas has gone to buy some new clothes today because all he’s got is what he’s standing up in.

“We’ve got to keep a sense of humour though. A fireman came round earlier and asked if we wanted a free chip pan. I said ‘we haven’t got a kitchen to put it in!’.”

A fire service spokesman said: “Firefighters attended the blaze at 5.42am on Sunday and used four breathing apparatus and two hose reels to extinguish flames.

“There was heat damage to the lounge and kitchen and smoke damage to the whole property.”