Mum loses everything as fire tears through beloved family home – and makes life-saving plea for smoke alarm

A Preston mother and son lost everything in a fire that destroyed their home. The fire engulfed their home in Mill Lane, Warton, on November 18.

Kirsty Wilson recalls how she was woken around 6.30am by her smoke detectors in her house. Quickly realizing something was wrong, Kirsty put on her dressing gown and rushed to wake her 14-year-old son.

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“I could smell like a heavy smell of plastic. We went straight down the stairs and pushed my son out the front door,” Kirsty told LancsLive.

“I opened the door to the living room and was engulfed in heavy smoke. I rushed outside to yell at my son to go wake up the neighbors and tell them to get out. I could tell it was getting… stronger and stronger.”

Kirsty then risked her well-being when she re-entered the burning property to save her beloved animals. She fought her way through the smoke to rescue four dogs, two puppies and her two turtles. Unfortunately, one of his dogs had run off to hide in the house and tragically died in the fire.

Kirsty Wilson and her son Jake, 14

Kirsty said: “Trying to breathe in that house was like trying to breathe with a mouth full of cotton wool. It stung my eyes and I was coughing but I couldn’t leave my animals.

“When I looked back into the kitchen, seeing it in flames felt like something out of a movie. The smoke made it so dark and the heat was unbelievable.”

The mother-of-one says firefighters described the blaze as a ‘flash fire’ and that she and her son are incredibly lucky to be alive. Without her smoke alarms, Kirsty is sure they wouldn’t have been so lucky.

Today, the family is rebuilding its life. The fire tore through the house, destroying almost everything they owned. Kirsty says she just feels lost.

“I just don’t feel like I belong anywhere. Some days are better than others. The days when I feel nothing really scare me, but then all the emotion hits me later” , she said.

“I walked into the house for the first time yesterday. It was awful. I took a video of my room just to go back. It’s surreal.”

The family lost almost everything
The family lost almost everything

“Everything panics me now. If I feel the heat blowing on my face, I panic. I have to sleep with a light on because the memory of the darkness of this house terrifies me. I walk around closing the windows because the firefighters told me the smoke didn’t enter my son’s room because his window was closed.”

The family are currently staying at Villa Express in Kirkham, and Kirsty says she can’t thank the staff enough for their kindness during this difficult time. She said: “The staff have been absolutely fantastic. I almost cry because of the kindness they have shown. Everyone has been fantastic with my son and even the cleaners have been so kind to us.”

The fire destroyed the roof
The fire destroyed the roof

Kirsty is looking to move into an Airbnb soon, just so she and her son have space to cook and wash their own clothes. The mother-of-one currently uses a laundromat to wash the clothes she and her son have.

Despite finding herself in this nightmarish situation, Kirsty says she was amazed by the kindness the local community has shown towards her and her son. She said: “My co-workers actually made a GoFundMe page and I just thought nothing would really come of it, but now it’s achieved its goal in about three days. And then my sister-in-law, she created one, like just for £500 just for the essentials, stuff you didn’t really know you needed and this one hit the mark.

“The pub I work in acted as a drop off point for people to leave things if they wish and I went there last night just to see what was there and while I was visiting, there were people dropping stuff off and I was just overwhelmed,

“Sometimes when you live in a village or between the two villages, it can be difficult because it’s small, everyone knows everyone and people talk to each other. When people need each other, the village comes together and it’s amazing. A company called Hugo’s Small Animal Rescue and Sanctuary was able to accommodate our two ferrets for free while we were at the hotel. They were also fantastic.”

The interior of Kirsty's house has been destroyed
The interior of Kirsty’s house has been destroyed

The community really stepped up to give Kirsty and her son everything they could to make the weeks and months ahead bearable, but they were told their home could take up to 12 months to rebuild.

Kirsty urged everyone to install smoke detectors. She said: “If there’s one thing everyone should do, it’s get a smoke detector and check it regularly. I always tested mine when the clock ticked down and when it came back. Firefighters said my son and I wouldn’t be alive today without them. We wouldn’t have woken up.”

Four fire engines and an aerial ladder platform were present, along with officers from Lancashire Constabulary who blocked the road. Members of the public have been asked to avoid the area and use alternate routes where possible.

The roof of the house, on Mill Lane, was completely destroyed by the flames
The roof of the house, on Mill Lane, was completely destroyed by the flames

A spokesperson for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 6.30am on November 18, four fire engines from Lytham, Wesham, St Annes and South Shore, plus an aerial ladder platform from Blackpool attended a domestic building fire on Mill Lane , Warton. Firefighters used six self-contained breathing apparatus, two hose reels and a jet to extinguish the blaze. No casualties were reported.

If you would like to donate to Kirsty, you can do so here or if you have any items you would like to donate, these can be brought to the Trainer and horses pub in Freckleton.

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