Family’s horror as fire destroys home

Angela and Paul Young - in shock after fire destroyed the interior and contents of their  Garstang home
Angela and Paul Young - in shock after fire destroyed the interior and contents of their Garstang home

A Garstang family has been left homeless after fire ripped through their house at the weekend.

Their possessions, including many of great sentimental value, were destroyed in the blaze, which broke out about mid-day on Saturday.

Now an appeal is being launched to help Angela and Paul Young and their younger children, Andrew and PJ (Paul Junior), rebuild their lives.

The horrified family watched as smoke billowed out of the housing association property on Hazelhurst Drive, Garstang. Inside ceilings caved in and floorboards were destroyed

It is reported the fire service took some 40 minutes to arrive. Fortunately noone was hurt in the blaze, which it is thought was started by an electrical fault.

But the family, who were not insured, are counting the cost of their lost furniture, clothes and household goods.

Paul, 53, wearing clothes donated by a local charity shop, said: “It’s a write off.”

Angela, 42, who says she is still in shock,added: “We’ve got to start again .. everything, down to a teaspoon, we need.

“At the moment things are looking quite bleak but we’ll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and start again.”

They revealed the alarm was raised when their eldest son, who had been visiting went to the bathroom and felt his feet getting warm.

Paul recalled: “My eldest lad Martin, came bounding downstairs shouting something. I looked outside and saw smoke coming from outside the house – the coalshed is outside the house, under the bathroom. The fire was under the floorboards and the bathroom was on fire.”

Son Andrew, 18,his girlfriend Ellie Dent,16, and dog Benji also had to be evacuated from the house.

Paul and Angela, who both work at Market Place News in Garstang, have been staying with Angela’s father and the family has now been offered temporary accommodation in Forton.

They say they have been told it could be six months before they can return.

The couple’s daughter, Kimberly Parry who lives in Germany with her soldier husband, is in the process of setting up a special appeal.

Questions are also being asked about the reported 40 plus minutes it took for fire crew to arrive. It is believed the Garstang fire service staff had been sent to Preston to help with the aftermath of a blaze on an industrial estate.

A fire service spokesman said: “I can’t comment on the details but it is something that needs to be looked into.

“It’s a serious allegation and it’s something we will be investigating.”

Locals reported crews attended from Lancaster and Blackpool, but the fire service spokesman said crews were from Fulwood and Preston.

A spokesman for Regenda, the housing association that owns the property, said: “Our first priority was to find alternative accommodation for our residents as quickly as possible. While they were able to spend the night of the fire with family and friends they were then offered alternative accommodation in Forton, within four miles of where they work.”

l The website to help the family can be found at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/garstangfamilycrisisfund.

Meanwhile the couple’s employers Richard and Kate Whyman have agreed to act as a temporary contact point for donations etc. They can be contacted on Facebook at Market Place News by email at info@mpngarstang.com or 01995 604883.