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Family escapes house blaze.

A Stockton family escaped a serious blaze which cost them their home.

The fire, in Melbourne Street, happened at 5.40pm on Saturday.

Fire officers said the fire, believed to be accidental, started in the living room.

The father, mother and three young children had managed to leave the home by the time fire crews arrived.

Neighbours described how the fire blew the windows out of the mid-terraced property, causing flames to climb up the house and smoke to billow into the street.

Smoke alarms sounded and may have prevented the blaze from being life-threatening.

None of the family members needed medical treatment.

Neighbour David Ferguson, 36, said: "I was sat in the house with the kids and I heard smoke alarms going off.

"I went out into the back garden and saw smoke billowing out.

"I went back into our front room and heard the windows blow out.

"I got my kids and went outside and the family from the house were all out in the street, three kids, a mam and a dad.

"It was just flames.

"The fire service arrived within two minutes."

The force of the fire melted plastic on a car parked outside the house and blew its windows out.

Station Officer Bob Beech said: "It was a serious house fire.

"None of the occupiers needed medical treatment.

"But they were obviously very upset."

The house is now bordered up following the blaze.

It is understood the family is being re-housed by a housing association.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 19, 2004
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