'Stuff can be replaced, people can't': Family's lucky escape as conservatory goes up in flames

A Market Drayton family had to escape their home in a hurry when a fierce blaze took hold in their conservatory.

Matt and Holly Jones
Matt and Holly Jones

Holly and Matt Smith say the house in Grotto Road was saved by the fast response of firefighters, on the scene in minutes. And they have praised neighbours for their help during and after the blaze, which completely gutted the side conservatory.

The couple and Holly's two sons, Riley, 10 and eight-year-old Archie, along with the family dog, Bruce, managed to get out via the front door.

They say the fire, on Sunday night started when the gas canister in their freezer mechanism exploded at about 9.30pm.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said that fast, assertive firefighting contained the blaze.

"The boys were upstairs and we were in the lounge," Holly said.

"I went into the kitchen and immediately saw the orange glow and felt a fierce heat on my face."

She raced to shout her sons to get downstairs, while neighbours who had also seen the flame were at the door to alert them.

Matt said: "I got the hosepipe to try and douse the flames but it was too fierce and in what seemed like minutes the fire crews were there. They were absolutely fantastic and they literally saved our home.

"Our neighbours were brilliant as well. Some neighbours took the boys and dog in and looked after them and everyone was offering help, even ready to drag the car to safety. We live in a fantastic community here and we are so glad we made the decision to move from Coventry four years ago."

He said it wasn't until the early hours of Monday morning that it hit the couple just how lucky they had been.

"It could have been so much worse and seeing everything in the daylight is a very sobering sight."

The gutted conservatory and shattered glass in the kitchen door

The couple say they have lost possessions and still can't use their bathroom because its electrics were damaged, but they are glad to be alive.

"Stuff can be replaced but people can't," Matt said.

Holly urged others to ensure they had an escape route worked out in case of a fire.

"Our front door handle was broken and luckily we all got out before shutting the door because it wouldn't open again. The firefighters had to break in."

A firefighter attacks the fire in the conservatory. Photo: Market Drayton Fire Station

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service sent crews from the Market Drayton and Hodnet stations to the scene along with an operations officer.

Fire service watch manager Mark Smith said: "On arriving at the scene the crews were confronted by a severe fully developed fire involving a conservatory, with the fire rapidly beginning to spread up the outside of the house, towards the first floor and roof.

"The incident commander was quickly informed that everyone was out of the house."

He said rapid, assertive firefighting prevented the fire spreading.

"Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus immediately begin tackling the fire using a high pressure hose reel jet.

"Whilst this was being done other firefighters were establishing an additional water supply from a nearby fire hydrant, laying out main line covering jets, establishing a command support structure and implementing safety cordons.

"A second team of two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus, were committed to the first floor and roof space of the property, to check for and to stop any fire spread using a high pressure hose reel jet.

"After approximately 20 minutes of arriving on scene the main fire had been extinguished, and crews were able to confirm that thankfully the fire had been prevented from spreading into the house."

Mr Smith said that because of fire damage to the incoming mains electrical supply to the property, engineers from Western Power were requested to attend the scene.

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