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King's Lynn dad Graham Withers tells of devastation after fire destroys his home

PUBLISHED: 16:19 16 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:51 16 November 2017

Fire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Fire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant

A fire has completely destroyed a family home a father shares with his children.

Fire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtFire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Graham Withers, 48, had returned home after visiting a friend with his three sons when he noticed smoke billowing out of his terrace house in Sir Lewis Street, in King’s Lynn.

“I opened the door a little and the smoke poured out,” Mr Withers said. “I quickly called the fire brigade.

“The kids were all crying, we had to stand here and watch it.”

Fire crews arrived at about 8.45pm on Tuesday, November 14, and were able to put out the fire within an hour, using breathing apparatus and hosereel jets. But the blaze has left courier Mr Withers and his sons - Alex, 13, Tommy, 12 and Dominic, eight - with nothing.

Fire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtFire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Ash now lays where their possessions once were, including photographs of Mr Withers’ late brother, Denzil Withers, who died of cancer aged 54 in July. Tommy celebrated his birthday last month and all of his presents have been destroyed.

But the family were overjoyed that their pet goldfish and seven cats had miraculously survived the fire.

“The firemen saved them, the water was boiling hot but they put them in fresh water which was a really nice touch,” Mr Withers said.

Fire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtFire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The fire service is investigating what may have caused the fire but Mr Withers believes it may have been a faulty electrical item.

Neighbour and friend Chris Simpson said he was about to take his dog out for a walk that evening when he noticed the commotion taking place down his road.

Mr Simpson said. “They wouldn’t let me take my dog out, there was a lot of smoke coming out of there they wouldn’t let anyone go up at all.”

Fire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtFire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Withers’ mother, June Withers, also lives on the same road.

She said her grandchildren had run up to her house screaming “dad’s house is on fire”.

She added: “They have got nothing but the clothes they have on.”

Fire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtFire has destroyed Graham Withers' home in Sir Lewis Street, King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Withers and his children are staying with his eldest daughter Emma Withers, 26, who lives in a two bedroom flat with her partner and two children.

The family are appealing to the public for help, in particular for children’s clothes. To donate, please call Emma Withers on 07594 425065.

Graham Withers inside his fire damaged home in North Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtGraham Withers inside his fire damaged home in North Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Sir Lewis Street in North Lynn was gutted by fire on Tuesday night. Picture: Ian BurtSir Lewis Street in North Lynn was gutted by fire on Tuesday night. Picture: Ian Burt

Graham Withers outside his home in North Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtGraham Withers outside his home in North Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The burnt out lounge of Sir Lewis Street in North Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe burnt out lounge of Sir Lewis Street in North Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The burnt out lounge of Sir Lewis Street in North Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe burnt out lounge of Sir Lewis Street in North Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

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