Family members jump to safety after fire

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A family had a lucky escape after a fire ripped through their home forcing them to either jump or climb down from first floor windows.

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Brothers Toby, 21, and Ti Burt, 18, jumped about 9ft from their bedroom window to the ground below.

They picked up a ladder lying in their garden and put it up against the semi-detached house, to help their father David Burt and brother Terry, 23, who were in separate upstairs bedrooms, to escape.

The fire started on the ground floor of the property in Westfields, Tilney St Lawrence, near King's Lynn, at about 2.30am on Friday, while they were all asleep.

Self-employed businessman David Burt said: 'Terry shouted out to me that the house was full of smoke. You could not see your hand in front of your face, it was so thick.

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence - Station manager Bob Ayers

The damage caused to a house on Westfields by fire in Tilney St Lawrence - Station manager Bob Ayers investigates the cause of the fire. Picture: Matthew Usher.

'We then shouted to Toby and Ti, who share a room. Toby jumped from the first floor window, and then Ti followed him down. Then they got me down on a ladder, which was in the garden, as we'd been doing some DIY. 'We then took the ladder round to the back of the house, where Terry's room is, and got him down. His room was not as bad as mine.

'The heat was unbelievable. We would not have survived more than a few seconds in smoke like that. We were literally hanging out the windows to breathe.'

Most Read

Mr Burt, who owns the house, said all the family photographs and the children's school reports, plus an antique bureau, had been destroyed in the blaze.

They were all taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn for check-ups, and then released.

Lynn fire station manager Bob Ayers said: 'The family are very lucky to escape as they did. There is 100pc smoke damage to the whole house, fire damage to the hall, and heat damage to the ground floor.'

While the family had a smoke detector, Mr Ayers said it was in the wrong room. He added: 'Ideally, the smoke detector should be put somewhere where it will protect the escape route.'

Have you had a lucky escape recently? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk