Mother's horror as tree blaze erupts


Rory Sheehan

A MOTHER has described the terror felt by her children as they fled a raging fire in a 40ft tree yards from their home.

Helen Jones, of Bryn Glas, Gwersyllt, said it was a horrific experience for her and her three children, who were forced to run out of their home at about 11.30pm on Saturday night.
A 40ft conifer tree had been set alight by arsonists and fire burned just a few yards from their home.
Mrs Jones said she and children Daniel John, 21, Connor, 13 and Riley, six, had been lucky the flames did not spread to her property.
“We were in the house and all of a sudden heard crackling, saw the flames and got out of there as quickly as we could,” said the 43-year-old. 
“It was very scary for me and frightening for the children.
“I sent them across the road to the neighbour’s straight away so they didn’t see the worst of it. We’ve had a lucky escape, because the tree is just yards from the house and it went up so quickly. 
“You don’t think about anything in a situation like that, I was just hoping it wouldn’t spread to the house.
“It has been happening a lot around here recently, although we’ve not had any problems since the weekend. 
“It’s mindless and so, so dangerous. My neighbour Val’s fence panels sparked up a few hours later and that could have been much, much worse too.
“We’ve been very lucky and that’s the good thing – nothing else has been damaged except for the tree. 
“I want to get rid of as much of it as possible now so nothing like this can happen again.”
Yesterday residents in Bryn Glas rallied round in a show of community spirit to clear up the debris left from the hefty blaze. They remove branches from the blackened tree.
One of the organisers, neighbour Sharon Ritchie, said: “We are cutting the branches down and we’ve had a woman from Bradley turn up to help us take things away after we spread the word on Facebook. After all the bad stuff that’s happened we wanted to show there are good people on this avenue.”
Ms Jones said she was grateful for the help and support. She said: “The neighbours arranged to get together to help me out and I’m very, very grateful, it shows there are good people out there.”
She would like to thank Nina Ellis, Keith Ritchie, Becky Griffiths, Andrew Llewellyn, David Price, Andy Williams, Wendy Lewis, Mark Davies and Karla Ritchie for all their help.
Yesterday, the North Wales Arson Reduction team appealed to residents to help them stamp out deliberate firestarting, following the recent spate of fires in the Gwersyllt area.
Firefighters have been called to six fires in four days in the area.

See full story in the Leader

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