Everyone is accounted for in serious house fire in Bladon Way, Haverhill
PUBLISHED: 10:52 13 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:26 13 August 2017
A family have spoken of their relief no-one was hurt in a fire at their Haverhill home this morning.
Mike and Patricia Austin had been on their way to visit family in Leicester when a neighbour called saying “your house is on fire”.
Mr Austin, 68, said he had to pull the car over as he “nearly passed out,” fearing for the safety of his son Damian who was at home.
The couple turned the car around, arriving back about an hour later, to discover their house, in Bladon Way, on fire and crews from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and from over the border in Cambridgeshire working to get it under control.
Damian, who had been asleep, had been woken by the smoke alarm and managed to get outside and call the fire brigade.
Mr Austin, who helped build the property and has lived there since 1971, said: “I have got my son. That’s all I was concerned about. That’s the main thing.”
The fire service was mobilised at 9.28am, with four appliances and the multistar aerial appliance from Bury St Edmunds attending when the blaze was at its worst.
Station commander Dale Nunn said: “There was a well-developed fire in that front bedroom, first-floor bedroom. Crews were committed to fight the fire [from inside], but due to an unsafe structure they had to be removed.”
He said they were concerned about the ceiling falling in, adding building control were due to assess the property’s structure.
Two neighbouring homes had to be evacuated, he said, due to the smoke.
“It was quite a challenging fire for the firefighters to deal with,” he said. “They worked really well together.”
The fire was under control at 1pm, but Mr Nunn said they would be at the scene for some time dealing with hotspots.
Mr Austin, a father-of-four, said: “We have had lots of offers of somewhere to sleep. We are lucky. We have only lost clothes and a bed. All our important information has just got wet downstairs.”
Mrs Austin added: “The neighbours have been brilliant with drinks and offers of lodging.”
It is not yet known what caused the fire and an investigation will take place.