Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Incident Date: 02 January 2015
MORE than 20 firefighters raced to the scene of a major house fire tonight as flames engulfed the detached property and took the lives of two family pets.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service took a call from neighbours living nearby to the property in Whalley Avenue, Sale, just before 7.30pm and arrived on the scene just minutes later to find the house well alight.
Flames had engulfed the ground floor, quickly spreading to the first floor and attic space. Inside the heat from the blaze reached intense levels, taking out the staircase very quickly and leaving the inside of the property completely devastated. The heat radiating from the house at the height of the blaze was so intense it damaged neighbouring properties on the cul-de-sac.
Group Manager Ben Levy described the fire as significant. “This is a large detached house and this was a significant fire. The staircase was completely burned out as we tried to fight the fire. Up to 10 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and had to use ladders to create makeshift stairs to the first floor and attic. They worked under very difficult conditions and under extreme and intense heat.”
The owners of the property fled the fire quickly and were out of the house by the time crew arrived but were distraught at the thought of two family pet dogs trapped inside. Firefighters fought their way into the property and rescued the animals. They were given oxygen and the scene in a bid to revive them but they were lost.
Group Manager Levy added: “This is an incredibly serious fire. The residents were lucky to have got out. If they had been in bed overnight when it happened it could have been very different. They are safe and well, but it is always very sad to lose people’s pets who we know are very much part of the family.
“We will remain at this house for quite some time, certainly through the night. There will be a detailed fire investigation to establish the cause but at this point those investigations will focus on the Christmas tree.”