Thursday, 25 April 2019

Fire rips through man’s flat

Fire rips through man’s flat

A PROPERTY in Henley was severely damaged when a fire ripped through it in the early hours of Wednesday.

No one was injured but the roof of the building in Mill Lane was destroyed and windows shattered.

Three vehicles, including a Volkswagen van and a Ford Ka, which were parked on the drive, were destroyed when the fire spread.

The building is an old garage belonging to the adjoining house and has a flat above, which was badly damaged by smoke.

The flat is occupied by the son of Gail Droy who lives in the main property with her husband.

He managed to escape with his dog after the fire broke out at about 2.30am.

Mrs Droy said: “I had gone to bed but I was a bit peckish and got up to make myself a snack and coffee. I had just gone back to bed but my husband was still up and said, ‘quickly, get up, there’s a fire’. There was a bang and a crackle.

“My son was actually in bed and heard it but he thought it was fireworks to start with.

“I went through to the kitchen and I could see it from there. It was small and then suddenly got very, very big.

“We shouted and he got himself and his dog out. As soon as I knew they were okay that was it and then we had to watch the place burn, which was awful.”

Five crews from the Oxfordshire and Royal Berkshire fire and rescue services attended the incident.

Mrs Droy said: “There were lots of flashing lights. Quite honestly, there was quite a lot of activity but it was so, so smoky you could hardly see.

“The flames got quite high because we had a big tree there, which was very blackened.”

The last firefighters remained at the scene until 8am and a crew from Henley Fire Station returned at 11.15am to reinspect the building and found no hot spots.

Mrs Droy said: “There’s nothing left. It’s absolutely burnt to a cinder.”

The couple’s home escaped any damage.

Mrs Droy said her son was very upset and had “lost everything”.

She said: “He’s had to go out and buy clothes. All the Christmas presents he’d already bought are gone. He’s lost three cars.

“He’ll have to come into the main house, of course.

“God knows what we’re going to do. I suppose we’ll have to take photographs and see what we have got to face. It’s going to be a long, hard struggle but we have got to assess the situation in the light of day. You can’t come to snap decisions.

“Thank God I’ve got the family around me.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

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