Neighbours tell of ‘terrifying’ scenes as family rescued from serious house fire in Eagle Close, Stowmarket
PUBLISHED: 10:27 11 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:42 11 March 2017
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A mother and two young children were rescued from a first-floor window after a major fire broke out in the kitchen downstairs.
Neighbours described seeing black clouds of billowing smoke coming from the property in Eagle Close, Stowmarket, on Saturday morning.
Mel Buxton, who lives opposite, said she had “never witnessed anything as terrifying”.
“I was just so relieved to see that the fire service was already there and the family were being lifted out to safety,” she added.
Vicky Godhard, 31, who lives next door, said she saw a “big gust” of smoke coming from the house.
“I came out my front door and saw the mother at the window on the phone to the fire brigade,” she added. “She asked me to go to the top of the road to direct the firefighters when they arrived.
“The house was black with smoke.”
Lucy Bruce, 34, who also lives nearby, said the smoke was so thick she couldn’t see from her living room window.
“The firefighters were fantastic,” she added. “The ladder was up straight away and they got the mum and kids out in no time.”
She said the family, who only recently moved into the home, had been left blackened with soot from fire but seemed unhurt. An ambulance was called to take them to hospital as a precautionary measure.
Firefighters from Stowmarket, Needham Market and Elmswell all attended the blaze after the call came in at 8.30am.
Station commander Nigel Vincent said his first crews were on the scene within minutes.
Using a ladder, firefighters rescued the children, thought to be aged four and five, from the bedroom window, followed by their mother, while colleagues tackled the blaze below.
He said the alarm that alerted them to the fire “undoubtedly saved their life”.
While waiting for crews to arrive, Mr Vincent said the fire service control room operators had kept the mother calm and advised her to remain upstairs.
He said his crews, all retained on call firefighters, had done a “fantastic job”.
“As always, we are on the look out for new recruits to sign up,” he added.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
To find out more about becoming an on-call firefighter visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/firestations or call the liaison officer on 07776 475069.
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