Flintshire couple's lucky escape after blaze

Reporter:

Lois Hough

A FLINTSHIRE couple are lucky to be alive after fire broke out in their home just yards from a gas bottle.

Experts are investigating the fire at the home of Wendy Butler, 46 and partner Frank Brady, 48.

It began in the corner of their living room on Abbots Walk, Holywell at about 11.40pm.

Wendy told the Leader: “We have no idea what caused it. We are baffled. I came home around 11.30pm after visiting a friend’s house down the road.

"My husband was having a bath so I made a cup of tea and got into bed.

“The next minute the smoke alarm started going off. I got up to investigate and went to go downstairs but you just couldn’t see because the smoke was horrendous.

“I shouted for my husband and we just made a run for it downstairs and out of the front door.”

Two fire engines attended the scene where crews wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fire.

“The whole dining room was on fire and we don’t understand how because there wasn’t even a plug socket in that corner,” said Wendy.

“But we had a gas bottle right next to the unit and that’s the main reason I was panicking.

“If that would have gone up, we would have never have got out alive. We were very lucky.”

The couple weren’t the only ones to have a lucky escape.

Wendy said: “We got out of the house and all I could think about was the cat.

“I shouted ‘where’s the cat? where’s the cat?’ and the firemen had to go in and rescue him.

“Our goldfish who were in the kitchen also survived although their water was all black and murky. We were lucky that the tank didn’t explode because of the heat.”

The couple’s son Lee, 19, was not at home on Friday evening but got back just in time to see the drama.

Lee said: “I was out with my girlfriend on Friday night but got back and the house was ablaze.

“The wooden unit that was in the corner of the living room has just been reduced to ashes and the sofa just went up in flames.

“The windows in the living room just cracked because of the heat. The house stinks of smoke.

“Now we are living at my sister’s while the council find us some temporary accommodation.”

He added: “Mum and dad were very lucky to get out. It was the smoke alarm that saved their lives.”

The family are now living with daughter Sian, 26, while an investigation into the cause of the blaze is carried out.

Community sergeant for North Flintshire John Williams told the Leader: “The fire service has not been able to find the source of the fire so at this point in time we don’t know whether it was suspicious or not.

“Until we find the source then it is difficult to know.”

See full story in the Leader

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