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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Father and son flee Carlisle house blaze that kills pet dog

A dog helped save a father and son from a devastating fire but died as a result.

Currock fire house photo
The wrecked house

The one-year-old Border Collie was said to be unsettled and “fussing around” when the smoke alarm sounded at about 4am today.

The early warning meant the two people inside were able to escape before the flames took hold of the property in Tithebarn Street, Currock, Carlisle.

Neighbour Jeremy Stott recalled the terrifying scene.

“You always think of the flames with a fire, but I couldn’t get over the intense smoke, it was horrific,” he told the News & Star.

“I looked out of my window and the entire street was filled with thick smoke.

“I watched a firefighter climb a ladder and break the window upstairs, to try and get in that way.”

Mr Stott added: “For about an hour or more all you could see was smoke but then at about 5am to 5.30am I looked and could see the flames all across the ceiling of the lounge. It was scary.”

The owner of the property was too distressed to say much this morning.

The man, who did not want to be named, was sitting with his son and daughter in her car outside the property, waiting for the insurance company and firefighters to return.

He said: “The kitchen is completely destroyed, and a lot of downstairs. Upstairs it seems to be the smoke more than anything.

“We were all okay, apart from the dog. He was fussing around when the smoke alarm went off.”

The father added: “I do want to say thanks to the firefighters. They did everything they could.”

He is optimistic that many belongings will be saved from the upstairs rooms, although they are heavily smoke-logged.

It is understood the man and his son will be staying with the man’s daughter temporarily.

Crew manager Frank Davidson, from Carlisle west fire station, said three fire appliances were sent to the scene.

“The property appears to be totally destroyed from top to bottom,” he said. “The alarm was raised by the family dog and the smoke alarm, but sadly the dog didn’t make it.”

The occupants of one adjoining house were away but those on the other side of the blaze were evacuated as the smoke filled their home.

Firefighters are due to visit the area today to highlight the importance of smoke alarms and offer home fire safety visits.

“The smoke alarm did sound in this property but it highlights the need for everyone to check their alarms,” Mr Davidson said.

Mr Stott added: “For the first time in about 10 years I have booked a home fire visit, because it really hits home when you see it for real.”

Investigations into the cause of the blaze are ongoing, with fire investigators expected at the house later today.

Carlisle West fire crew had only just returned to the station from an earlier call. At about 2.45am firefighters had been sent to a car alight on Dalston Road, Carlisle. Investigations are underway into that blaze which is being treated as suspicious because the car was registered in Lazonby.

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