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'I looked out of the window and saw our roof on fire...'.


A MUM has described the terror of waking up to find her family home ablaze.

Wendy Berry heard loud bangs in the early hours of yesterday on her street, Vestris Drive in Salford, after a fire which broke out next door spread.

Three men who were passing by helped to rescue five occupants of the house next door, while firefighters saved another girl from the fire.

When the mum-of-two looked outside at about 3am, she saw a huge fire reflected in the windows of the houses across the street.

The house next door had caught fire, with flames licking the side of Wendy and Steve Berry's extension, igniting their roof.

"I looked out the window and I saw a huge fire reflected in the houses over the road," said Wendy.

"Our roof was on fire. "I woke Steve up screaming 'the house is on fire'. There were flames everywhere. I put the kids and the dog in the Mini, and drove it across the road where it was safe.

"I stalled the car about three times I was in such a panic.

"I then went back to help Steve find the keys for the camper van, but they got kicked off the stairs in the rush. By that time a couple of lads were smashing the windows next door to wake the neighbours up."

The fire had spread to the roof of Wendy and Steve's extension where they sleep. The bedroom above the garage, the gable wall and the roof have been badly damaged in the fire. The family will have to stay in a hotel while insurers assess the damage.

"The roof's all open now, you can see the sky,' added Wendy.

"I think we'll probably have to have a new roof and rebuild the gable wall. The place is a mess."

The couple, their two children, Rosie, nine, Betsy, eight, and their dog escaped unharmed.

Nine people, including the six who were in the neighbouring house and the three men who went in to rescue them, were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Police and the fire service are not treating the fire as suspicious but are continuing to investigate.


Damage to the homes after the blaze drama

A video image of the roaring blaze

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:May 26, 2019
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