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Newquay family has lost everything in fire

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: July 24, 2013

  • House fire on Parka Road, St Columb Road, leaves family homeless

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A NEWQUAY family has been left homeless by a fire that destroyed their house and all its contents.

Paul Anderson, 50, who lived at the three-storey house in Parka Road, St Columb Road, with his partner Christine Wingfield and their family, arrived home to see smoke billowing from the windows at around 1.45pm.

He braved the flames to rescue three of the family's pet dogs – one of which was in a cage on the third floor – but everything else, including household goods, clothes, presents from his 50th birthday and photographs of Christine's late parents, was destroyed in the fire which started in a bedroom.

"We've got nothing," said Mr Anderson. "Every item of clothing, everything you can think of, is gone. We're not insured for any of the contents at all.

"We have to contact the council and see if we can be rehomed.

"Some things are replaceable but some aren't. Photographs can't be replaced, like the pictures of Christine's mum and dad who are no longer with us."

Mr Anderson said he dashed into their home to rescue the three dogs, releasing 11-month-old chocolate Labrador pup Rocky from his cage on the third floor as the fire raged on the first and second storeys and freeing Suki, another Labrador, and Coco, a Labrador cross collie, who were both in a downstairs lounge.

The family is currently staying in two caravans at Trevelgue Holiday Park, near Newquay, but can only stay for a week.

No one was in at the time of the fire, which the fire service has determined was accidental.

"I left the house an hour prior with my stepsons to take them to work," said Mr Anderson. "I was heading back to take the dogs to the beach before I had to pick my partner up from work.

"As I turned back up to the house I saw the smoke and a neighbour came and said someone had called the fire brigade.

"I ran straight in to get the dogs. It was on fire so I just had to get in before the fire brigade arrived. It was full of smoke. I had to go up three flights to get Rocky."

Mr Anderson said they had been unaware of the need to buy contents insurance, believing it was handled before they moved into the privately rented house.

Firefighters from Newquay and St Columb got the fire under control by 2.25pm, and an adjoining home was evacuated by passers-by. The British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Services (FESS) vehicle also attended.

Craig Gibson, 25, who also lives at the property and who owns Rocky, said: "I just dread to think what would have happened if Paul wasn't there.

"There were no injuries and we didn't lose anyone.

"It's just a house. It can be replaced; a life can't."

The family praised the fire crews and the Red Cross volunteers for their support.

Anyone able to provide the family with unwanted furniture or household items is asked to call Hollie Bone on 01872 247440.

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