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Neighbours save family from Podsmead house fire

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 26, 2012

  • Damage to the house in Podsmead

  • Partridge Close house fire

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A FAMILY of four, including a young child, escaped with their lives after hero neighbours rescued them from their blazing home.

The family were sleeping at the house, in Partridge Close, Podsmead, when an inferno took hold in the early hours of Saturday.

But next door neighbour Nathan Walcroft, 31, was on hand to fight his way into the home and get the foursome free.

"I can't remember things too clearly, it's all still a bit of a daze," Nathan told The Citizen.

"But I was woken up in the night and could hear this roaring, like a bonfire. I looked out and saw next door was on fire, called 999 and went to help.

"There was another guy from the street with me and it was smoky as hell in there.

"They were asleep in the house but we managed to wake them up and they got out – the guy was holding the child but they were obviously upset and stressing about the house.

"We just got them out of there and then the fire engines turned up.

"You could see flames coming out of the roof, it was really scary."

It took four fire engines, with a total of 19 firefighters, to battle the blaze using two main jets, three hosereels and six breathing apparatus over three hours.

The fire spread across every floor of the detached home, which has been left 70 per cent damaged and without a roof. Investigators are working to find out the cause of the blaze.

Nathan, a shelf stacker at Tesco in Quedgeley, said he doesn't consider himself a hero and would do the same again if the situation called for it.

The family, believed to be husband and wife, their adult son and a small child, were too upset to talk.

The couple's daughter lives in the neighbouring property and said they were uninjured.

It's not clear who the other rescuer who helped Nathan is.

Other residents in the quiet cul-de-sac spoke of the terrifying scenes.

Collapsed

Valerie Murfitt, who lives across the road, said: "I was woken up when all the fire engines turned up, you could see flames coming right out of the house and then the roof suddenly collapsed in.

"I could see everyone was out by then but it was really scary. They seem like a nice family, they always say hello and it's really sad to see what's happened."

Peter Matthews, another neighbour, said: "I saw it from my bedroom, you could see the house going up and then the roof fall in, it was really scary stuff."

A fire and rescue service spokesman said: "Two appliances were dispatched from Gloucester Station and on arrival Watch Commander Brian immediately requested further resources at the incident as crews were faced with a fully developed house fire involving the ground floor, first floor and roof space and was spreading to a neighbouring property.

"A third appliance from Gloucester was dispatched as well as a fire appliance from Stroud Station, making a total of 19 firefighters at the scene."

The family were taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for smoke inhalation.

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  • happydays32  |  March 26 2012, 11:08AM

    Well done that man, and glad all concerned are ok..

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