Couple escape deadly loft fire

The scene of the house fire on Ridge Grove, Heysham.
The scene of the house fire on Ridge Grove, Heysham.
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A couple were lucky to escape with their lives after fleeing a fierce blaze at their home.

Karen and Steve Pruden were at their house on Ridge Grove in Heysham watching television when they realised the roof was on fire.

Karen, 62, who works at Morrisons said: “I was just shaking, it was awful, we’ve lived in this house for 20 years, but we are alive and can live to see our family.

“Steve had all his biking gear up in the loft and we both had pictures of our parents.

“That is all gone but we have our memories.”

The fire broke out at 10pm on Saturday.

Karen said: “We heard a noise like crackling and I thought something had fallen.

“My husband thought someone was at the door so we went out but there was no-one there.

“I followed him out and noticed one of the lights was very red. Steve pulled up a chair and pushed the loft hatch open and it was in flames.

“There was no smoke in the house and the smoke detector hadn’t gone off.

“Steve said ‘we are on fire’ so we got out of the house, I managed to grab the phone but we had no shoes or coat on.

“We tried to alert the man next door but there was no-one in.

“One of the neighbours gave me some shoes and a coat and we just stood outside watching the firemen.

“The house will be empty for up to six months whilst the insurance deals with it.

“We are staying with my sister until we can find a house to rent.

“We are just grateful for everyone’s help, especially the fire service who were amazing and made us feel good in tragic circumstances. I would like to thank all my family and friends for helping.”

When firefighters arrived at the house on Ridge Grove, the fire was so severe that it had broken through the roof and was close to the neighbouring property.

Morecambe fire station’s crew manager Matthew Dorrington said: “On arrival fire crews in breathing apparatus entered the property and started to tackle the fire from the loft hatch, whilst this was happening inside other firefighters were tackling the fire from outside through a large hole in the roof.

“Smoke was issuing from the adjoining house so fire crews forced entry to check the property, although there was no fire in this property it was heavily smoke logged.”

After an initial investigation the cause has been put down to a spotlight/electrical fittings in the bathroom ceiling.

Crew manager Dorrington said: “The loft area had been used for storage as the majority of properties do to a lesser or greater degree. People should use this as a reminder that fires can happen even in rooms that are not used on a daily basis, if you have spotlights in your ceilings they can get hot so please remember to keep the area around them clear.” For home fire safety advice call 0800 1691125.