A mother has today told how her three young children have been left homeless with just the clothes on their back after a devastating fire ripped through the family home.
Kelle Moore, 31, was at home with sons Tyler, 10, Coben, five and Blake, two, when the blaze took hold in Dryburgh Avenue, Marton, leaving part of the property in ruins.
Today she described her horror after seeing thick smoke pouring from an upstairs window.
She screamed for her children to get outside as the fire tore through the top of the house, leaving it so badly damaged the family are now homeless.
And young Tyler, a talented martial arts competitor and former junior national Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, lost the special belt he won when he was crowned a Muay Thai champion at last year’s Celtic Challenge in the fire, as well as an expensive new Jiu Jitsu suit.
His large collection of competition medals have been left badly smoke damaged.
Kelle said: “We were all at home when Tyler said he could smell smoke.
“I’d only been downstairs for 10 minutes and I thought someone must be having a garden fire. I went into the back and saw smoke pouring from my bedroom window and rushed upstairs. I opened the bedroom door and it was just in flames.
“They were really strong and I could feel the braids on the side of my head being singed. I shouted to all the children to get out of the house, I was hysterical.
“A neighbour rang the fire brigade and the fire crews turned up amazingly quickly and were absolutely brilliant.
“We had been decorating so all the children’s clothes were in my bedroom which has been totally destroyed - you can see all the brickwork.
“The roof has caved in, and the boys’ bedrooms are badly smoke damaged.”
Firefighters using breathing apparatus tackled the blaze from inside the house after three fire engines arrived on the scene at 2.30pm on Tuesday.
Emergency crews also used thermal imaging cameras to ensure the fire hadn’t spread before using fans to disperse the smoke.
The fire, which it is thought could have been caused by an electrical fault, is still being investigated.
Devonshire Road Primary School pupil Tyler began training in martial arts at the age of five with his dad Michael Lockett, 42, who instructs children in Jiu Jitsu at twice-weekly sessions at Enigma Gym in Brinwell Road, Blackpool.
Tyler said: “I’d just been to get a card for my dad’s birthday and I came home and sat down for a couple of minutes. I smelt smoke and when we saw the house was on fire I felt really, really sad because I knew we’d lost all our stuff
“The belt I won for the Celtic championships was black with pictures of two people fighting on it and it’s gone.
“I came out of the house in just my shorts and a bodywarmer and that’s all I’ve got left. I’ll still be trying to defend my title though.”
Tyler’s most recent success was a gold medal in the pre-teen under 40kg-category at the Blackpool Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Open held last weekend.
Kelle added: “I’m still in shock really. Neither the kids nor I have got an item of clothing to their name and I’m having to replace everything from socks and underwear to T-shirts. As far as the stuff that’s been destroyed is concerned though it’s all replaceable - my kid’s aren’t.
“I didn’t have insurance because I had nothing of real value.
“You don’t realise how expensive clothes and things are to replace.
“It’s a nightmare but I need to keep cheerful for the kids’ sake.
“It’s upsetting for the children to see their home like that and we’re now reliant on the landlord to sort out some alternative accommodation for us which he is going to do as soon as possible.
“I would just urge everyone in rented or owned accommodation to make sure they have working smoke alarms. You have no idea how utterly devastating fire can be until it happens to you.”
There is currently no legal requirement for smoke alarms are installed in single occupancy rented homes built before 1992.
Kelle and her two younger children are staying with a friend in central Blackpool, while Tyler is with his dad Michael and stepmum Rachel Larkin.