Thetford man’s lucky escape after fire tears through the roof of his house
- Credit: Archant
A man described how he made a lucky escape after his neighbours warned him of a fire in his house.
The roof of Ian Collyer's home in Jasmine Close, Thetford, was completely gutted by a fire on Saturday night.
'I was standing at the window watching the fireworks when I smelt the smoke,' Mr Collyer said.
'Then I saw my neighbour on a ladder squirting water in the hole in the my roof and I thought: 'What on earth is he doing?'
'And a lady knocked on the door telling me to get out, there's a fire.'
Mr Collyer, who worked in the ambulance service for 30 years but is now retired, said he had experience in dealing with this type of situation.
After shutting all of the upstairs doors, he ran down and opened all the doors in the lower floor for the fire service to gain access before running out of the house.
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'I knew what to do, so it is just limited to smoke damage,' he added.
Mr Collyer and his neighbours used their own hose reel pipes before two fire engines from Thetford arrived at around 7.20pm.
A fire service spokesman said they are still investigating what may have caused the fire.
It has caused extensive damage to the roof beams, melted a water tank and electricity wires, leaving Mr Collyer with no electricity upstairs.
'The beams are damaged, it looks like a new roof job,' Mr Collyer added.
The blaze had also burned through some sentimental keepsakes that was kept in the loft, which Mr Collyer and his family had not realised until after the damage was already done.
'None of us realised stuff was left in the loft,' Mr Collyer said.
'When the firefighters brought the fibreglass out there was a big box with my son's things in.'
'He's 15 now, but it had his first mother's day cards and a photo album, we are a bit gutted really.'
He shares his rented house with his friend's daughter who was at work at the time of the fire. 'I am glad we all got out all right,' Mr Collyer said. 'The damage could have been a lot worse.
'There was huge smoke billowing out of the roof - that is how the neighbours realised it was on fire. 'If it wasn't for their quick actions it could have been worse,' Mr Collyer added.