Just three weeks after getting married, a Melton couple have had many of their possessions destroyed in a devastating house fire.
Kris and Claire Lowe had just left their home in Laxton Close to attend a parents’ evening at Long Field Academy when they received a phone call from a neighbour to say there were flames coming out of the three-storey townhouse.
Claire’s 14-year-old daughter, Jasmin, managed to flee the house with the family’s two-year-old cockapoo dog, Banjo, before the blaze took hold.
The fire, which was reported at 6.43pm on Thursday, gutted the lounge on the first floor and caused major smoke damage to the rest of the property.
The family, including Claire’s other daughter, Millie, who had been in the car with them as they headed for the school, are now living in a hotel while their home is being made habitable.
Claire, who married Kris at St Bartholomew’s Church, at Welby, last month, told the Melton Times: “We got a phone call from our neighbours to say our house was on fire which of course was a big shock.
“We rushed back to find fire engines outside and flames coming out of the windows.
“We’ve lost so much stuff, we are having to basically start again.
“We only got married three weeks ago and we’ve lost all of our wedding stuff, photos of the children when they were little, their toys and our furniture.
“We are just thankful that Jasmin had the good sense to get herself and the dog out in time.
“And the fire service did an amazing job.”
Neighbours have rallied around the family and a social media appeal has resulted in a deluge of offers to provide replacement furniture, bedding and other household items.
“Everyone has been amazing since it happened and we are so grateful,” said Claire.
“One of our neighbours took the girls in the night it happened and they have all been so supportive.
“We knew we had good neighbours but until something like this happens you don’t know just how good they are.
“It is so kind of people to offer us things although at the moment we don’t have anywhere to put it all.”
The blaze was initially thought to have been started by a candle being knocked over but the family has now been told it was caused by an electrical fault involving a lamp in the living room.
Fire crews from Melton and Oakham attended the incident with a team in a Fire Emergency Support Vehicle and also on the scene, to assist the family, were members of the Red Cross.
Melton fire station crew manager, Stu McCarthy, who was incident commander, praised the actions of Jasmin in the incident.
He said: “One person under the age of 18 was in the property at the time of the fire.
“They discovered the fire and immediately exited the property with the family dog and raised the alarm by knocking on a neighbour’s door.
“While significant damage was caused to the property, the quick actions of the homeowner’s daughter and neighbours prevented the situation from being far worse.”
Mr McCarthy described the scene when crews arrived: “A well developed fire could be seen licking out the windows of the first floor living room area.
“It was quickly established that all persons were accounted for and an assistance message was sent requesting a third appliance to attend.
“Four Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus with hose reel jets were committed to extinguish the fire.
“Our advice to anyone involved in a house fire like this is to get out, call 999 and stay out.”