A family of five have thanked their neighbours and the fire service for saving their Sutton Bridge home, and potentially their lives, after a fire broke out in an outhouse.
Beth and Lee Copland, along with sons Ben (10), Charlie (8) and Jackson (4), had to flee their Princes Street home after their brick outhouse caught alight less than six foot from the house rented from South Holland District Council.
They only knew about the blaze on Monday evening when neighbours Mary and Rob Tibbs knocked on their door after their son Robbie spotted the blaze from his bedroom window.
While Mary took the children in, Rob, Robbie and Lee grabbed hoses and buckets and battled the blaze themselves for a while to stop the flames reaching the home before fire crews from Long Sutton, Spalding and Norfolk could take over.
“You couldn’t ask for better neighbours,” said Beth. “If it wasn’t for them and the firefighters, who were brilliant, it would have been a whole different ball game.
“We had no idea until our neighbours came banging on the door. We were busy getting the kids ready for bed so they were all only half dressed.
“Charlie was only in his pants and dressing gown but the first thing he did was grab our two kittens and put on my shoes, which were obviously far too big for him, to take the cats to safety.
“Jackson was in hysterics and only in his underwear.
“But Mary ushered them inside her house, found some clothes and kept them warm until it was safe.”
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said the fire was down to an electrical fault with Beth saying it’s thought to be an issue with a fuse box.
The outhouse and everything in it was destroyed including a host of keepsakes, along with a fridge freezer and tools were pictures of the children, wedding presents and Beth’s nan’s Christmas tree.
“Losing the Christmas tree has broken me more than anything,” Beth said. “It was given to me after she passed away several years ago.”
Thankfully the family escaped the fire without injury.
However Beth spent all of Tuesday in hospital after breaking her foot.
“I did it while trying to avoid stepping on one of the kittens,” she said.