Family left homeless after New Year's Eve blaze

PUBLISHED: 11:09 02 January 2009 | UPDATED: 07:09 30 May 2010

Six fire crews attended the blaze in Leaden Roding (Picture Alistair Nelson)

Six fire crews attended the blaze in Leaden Roding (Picture Alistair Nelson)

A FAMILY was made homeless on New Year s Eve after a blaze tore through the roof of their farmhouse. Almost 20 people, adults and children, were forced to flee the property on Stortford Road, Leaden Roding, when it caught fire shortly before 8pm. Watch ma

A FAMILY was made homeless on New Year's Eve after a blaze tore through the roof of their farmhouse.

Almost 20 people, adults and children, were forced to flee the property on Stortford Road, Leaden Roding, when it caught fire shortly before 8pm.

Watch manager at Leaden Roding Fire Station, Doug Read, said: "When we arrived the whole back half of the roof was well alight. A family of eight lived in the house, but 19 people had been inside at the time. Everybody made it out safely and there were no injuries.

"One of the family's two dogs was still inside the building and the owner went in with a firefighter to retrieve it. They found him asleep downstairs and took him to safety."

The family of four adults and four children, who lost many of their possessions in the blaze, were attended by the Red Cross Victim Support Unit who provided emergency clothing and provisions. Uttlesford District Council was contacted to find emergency accommodation.

"Most of the roof and a lot of the first floor was destroyed, but a substantial part of the downstairs was saved from fire and water damage," said watch manager Read.

More than 25 firefighters from six different crews saw in the New Year by tackling the blaze in the two-story house. Four jets, two hose reels and an aerial ladder platform were used to bring the fire under control.

Shortly before 11pm firefighters used the platform to cut away some of the roof timbers and extinguish the hotspots. The operation continued well into the morning of New Year's Day and the incident was dealt with by 9.40am.

It is believed that an electrical fault may have triggered the blaze and a joint Police and Fire Service investigation is underway.

"This wasn't how I was planning to spend my New Year's Eve, but with this job you never know what's going to happen," said watch manager Read, who completes 20 years with the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service this week.

"It's not unusual to be called out on New Year and in 20 years I think I have spent about 50 per cent of them dealing with incidents," he said.

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