A family who have lost their home in a devastating blaze have thanked the community for their support and donations.
The mother-of-four, her two daughters and their dog fled from the burning Blurton property after hearing a ‘massive bang’ on Monday, May 20.
They are now staying in temporary accommodation after losing most of their belongings in the Waterside Drive blaze.
But they have been overwhelmed by the community’s reaction which includes an appeal for toys and clothes.
The mum said: “I have two of my daughters living with me. The seven-year-old was watching TV while my 19-year-old was upstairs.
“I’d just put the dryer on when there was a massive bang. I thought it was the back door, but then the fire alarms started to go off and there were flames coming from the laundry room.
“I got the kids and the dog out of the house and rang the fire service. It’s the scariest thing ever.”
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The fire started in the fridge inside the semi-detached property.
The mum added: “In 15 minutes, I lost my whole life. I keep getting upset because everything I’ve worked for has gone.
“I’m trying not to talk about it in front of my little girl, she tells me I can’t say the F word – meaning fire – and says she’s going to think about rainbows instead. It really scared her.
“It was so unexpected. My fridge was only five years old and it could have happened in the middle of the night when we were asleep.”
Newstead resident Chris Hall started the Facebook appeal for donations of clothes and toys.
The 48-year-old said: “My teenage daughter, Bethan, asked if she could take some toys down to the little girl, and I’m so proud of how thoughtful she was.
“The family’s older daughter had tears in her eyes when her little sister was given the toys – which were new.
“It’ll take a long time for their house to be put back together as all the walls are black and the windows melted.”
Donations can be dropped off at The Gables pub, on Trentham Road, Blurton, from 2pm to 4pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Chris added: “It is really heartwarming to see the community pull together. Nothing will replace the things the family have lost, but they were lucky to get out of the house. Hopefully these donations will help.”
The family have expressed extreme gratitude for the kindness of the community after losing their belongings.
The mum added: “I knew the area was a lovely place, but the people are amazing and I’m overwhelmed with the support.
“For The Gables to open its doors for us is incredible. There are too many people to thank and I’m just in awe of everyone. I’m so, so grateful for the help.”
The Gables landlady Gemma Latham said: “They’ve lost everything pretty much. The pub is closed at the minute so we have the space to store stuff to help them out. We can hold them until they get back on their feet.
“We pride ourselves on being a community pub and if any member of the community needs help then we will do what we can to help.”