Family left homeless after early morning Lytham fire
A Lytham family has been left homeless after a fire raged through their house in the early hours.
Paul O'Brien, his fiancee Christina and sons Fin, eight, and Elliot, two, were woken shortly after 4.30am on Monday by neighbours who had spotted flames at the back of their home on Lytham Quays.
The family safely evacuated the property as the flames intensified and Paul, 45, called out the fire brigade.
Four crews from Lytham, St Annes, Blackpool and South Shore tackled then spent 11 hours at the scene in Trafalgar Place, finding the rear of the house well alight when they arrived, with smoke also affecting two adjacent properties.
Crews requested an aerial ladder platform to assist in assessing the roof of the property for fire spread and spent a total of 11 hours at the scene, using three hose reels, eight breathing apparatus , a triple extension ladder and two thermal imaging cameras.
Paul and his family are now living temporarily with Christina's mum in Blackpool while they assess what happens next. They are looking to rent a house in the area.
"We've pretty much lost everything," he said. "The back rooms are gutted and the front rooms badly damaged by smoke.
"We were insured but that all takes time to sort out - we are just so grateful to the fire brigade for their dedication and hard work and to the neighbours for their wonderful help.
"I dread to think what might have happened if they hadn't woken us and they were so good at helping look after the children."
Paul, who runs the Lytham Events company, and Christina, 34, had lived in the two-storey, three-bedroom home for eight years. A Porsche car Paul had saved up to buy for 10 years and only acquired six months ago was on the drive at the time of the fire and damaged.
Ironically, Paul has recently been through the assessment process to become a retained firefighter.
"It is something I have always wanted to do and seeing those guys at work really shows what a great job they do, but I never imagined I would see it first hand in such circumstances," he said. "We are all so grateful to them."
A spokesman for the fire service said there were no suspicious circumstances to the blaze.
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