Mother's plea after dishwasher fire tears through kitchen
PUBLISHED: 12:29 22 August 2015 | UPDATED: 12:29 22 August 2015
A mother has said her family owed their lives to the their smoke detectors after escaping from a kitchen fire in their home.
A fire caused by a dishwasher swept through the kitchen of the house on Cator Road, Drayton, in the early hours of yesterday.
Joanna McCash said: “It is only because of the fire alarms that we are safe and sound. They saved our lives.”
Before going to bed, Mrs McCash, 48, loaded the dishwasher and switched it on.
At around 3.15am she woke to the sound of an alarm.
“When I heard the alarm I thought it must be playing tricks on us, I did not think it was an actual crisis.”
Her two sons Daniel, 15, and Joseph, 11, were also sleeping upstairs.
As she got out of bed she could smell smoke so went downstairs to investigate.
“When I got down the stairs the kitchen was full of acrid black smoke and I saw big flames coming out of the dishwasher and licking up the walls.
“My first thought was to get the kids out of the house and then wake our neighbours next door and get them out of the building too.
“The smoke was terrible, there was so much in the house. If we had not woken up we would have been overcome. It does not bear thinking about,” she added.
Fire crews arrived within 10 minutes and entered the house wearing breathing apparatus.
“I cannot say enough good things about the fire brigade, they were fantastic,” Mrs McCash said.
Her husband, Derek, 52, who was away teaching English for BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, is returning home to help the family get things back to normal.
The family had thought their cat, Alice, had run outside to escape the blaze but firefighters found her upstairs and handed to her owners.
“She was very quiet afterwards but seems to have cheered up now,” Mrs McCash said.
The year six teacher at Firside Junior School on Middletons Lane had been enjoying the last weeks of the school holidays and was getting on with some home improvements and was due to have a new carpet fitted in the morning of the blaze.
“If just one person checks their smoke alarms or thinks twice about leaving appliances on over night then at least something good can come of this,” she added.
The family had two new fire alarms fitted just last year when the house was being plastered.
“I love my house, it’s so sad to see it like this. It’s going to be a long haul getting things back to normal.”
Cherie Leeming, who lives next door, took Mrs McCash and her two sons in after the fire.
“I could not ask for a better neighbour, she has been fantastic. She has been giving me lots of cups of tea and has been looking after us all,” Mrs McCash said.
The family will stay with Mrs McCash’s mum and step-dad in Great Ellingham while the house is restored.