Son reveals smoke detectors failed in blaze that killed town crier

Pete Green, pictured with one of his grandchildren. 

Pete Green, pictured with one of his eight grandchildren. - Credit: Ben Green

The son of a town crier who died in a house fire has urged people to check their smoke detectors as he revealed his father's two devices stayed silent during the blaze.

Pete Green, known to some as Pete Travis, died last month after a blaze at his home on Damgate Street in Wymondham.

Pete Green, holding one of his eight grandchildren

Pete Green, holding one of his eight grandchildren - Credit: Ben Green

His house was fitted with two smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide alarm, but neither detector was activated by the fire and he was unable to escape.

Now, his eldest son Ben is urging others to keep checking theirs are in working order to prevent them from going through the same devastation and heartache his family now lives with.

Ben Green, son of former Wymondham town crier Pete Green, who is fundraising for his father's funeral

Ben Green, son of former Wymondham town crier Pete Green, who is fundraising for his father's funeral - Credit: Ben Green

Mr Green, 47, said: "When something like this happens there are a million-and-one questions and no real answers. It is just such an easy thing to forget about, but they would have saved his life.

"If they had worked they could have saved his life, it is as simple as that, so I would urge anybody to keep checking theirs."


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Mr Green and younger brother Jay, 42, are now faced with mammoth task of sorting the remains of his home, which he said included a project to restore his father's town crier bell, which was harmed by the flames.

Wymondham town crier Pete Green with one of his eight grandchildren

Wymondham town crier Pete Green with one of his eight grandchildren - Credit: Ben Green

And they have also been left to foot the costs of making funeral arrangements, for which they have reluctantly turned to crowd funding.

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"It is such a terrible situation," Mr Green said. "To just take him from the hospital to the crematorium does not seem right for him. 

Pete Green shares a story with two of his grandchildren

Pete Green shares a story with two of his grandchildren - Credit: Ben Green

"There are so many people who have been in touch with us that want to be able to say a proper farewell to him, as he was so well-known in the community, but the cost soon adds up.

"We would love the be able to afford a horse-drawn-carriage, as that would be very 'dad'."

The former town crier was a stalwart of Wymondham, serving as a town councillor for the last three years of his life, in a political party of his own founding.

He worked as an incense trader and a bookbinder, organised local steampunk events and regularly enjoyed re-enactment events.

Wymondham town crier Pete Green, right, pulling a cracker during a family Christmas

Wymondham town crier Pete Green, right, pulling a cracker during a family Christmas - Credit: Ben Green

And it was through these that he struck up a friendship with author Terry Pratchett, providing inspiration for the character Archchancellor Ridcully in the Discworld saga.

Mr Green added: "He was so many things to so many different people and since he died we have been overwhelmed with people's stories and anecdotes about him.

"The comments that have been coming through do not make it any easier for us, but they have helped us reflect on how loved in the community he was.

"It reminds us that people can still be liked in this world where people have stopped talking to each other.

"My father was always the storyteller and always had opinions, but would never shove them down anybody's throat. He always listened and you could often change his mind - he was the perfect combination of intelligence and wisdom."

Wymondham Christmas Lights and Steampunk Fair 2014Town Crier Pete Green and miss Wymondham join Rich

Wymondham Christmas Lights and Steampunk Fair 2014Town Crier Pete Green and miss Wymondham join Richard Gauntlett to switch on the lights.Picture by: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Since being launched two days ago, the Pete Green Final Journey Fund has raised more than £1,800 towards the cost of his send-off, which will be organised once sufficient funds have been gathered.

One cost that the family will not have to cover is the funeral flowers, which The Enchanted Willow florist on Wymondham High Street has agreed to foot the costs for. 

Mr Green added: "I have never set up a Go Fund Me before, but any support we can receive would be amazing. We're not expecting any huge donations, but any donation how small will be greatly appreciated.

The Wymondham Wynterfest 2016.Pete Green the Town Crier.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Wymondham Wynterfest 2016.Pete Green the Town Crier.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

"The town crier bell was damaged but I am restoring it with the help of some experienced friends and then will be returning it for future generations to use.

"It will be nice for the community to be able to say their farewells to him."

He leaves four sons, eight grandchildren and faithful companion Kiki the Jack Russell.

The fundraiser can be found on Go Fund Me by searching Pete Green (Travis) Final Journey Fund.

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