Mum thanks firefighters and neighbours for rescuing pets in Stevenage house blaze

The fire started in the back garden of the home in Alexander Gate

The fire started in the back garden of the home in Alexander Gate - Credit: Archant

A mum of two has thanked the firefighters, friends and neighbours who helped rescue her family pets including their beloved dog Buddy, from her burning house after a fire began to fill it with smoke.

Buddy was rescued from the blaze.

Buddy was rescued from the blaze. - Credit: Archant

Leigh Smith, 24, told the Comet of her horror when she got a call from a relative telling her her house was on fire.

It was 6.30pm and luckily Leigh had taken her sons to visit their grandmother elsewhere in Stevenage, as fire crews rushed to her home in Alexander Gate to tackle the blaze which started in the garden and began to lick up the back wall.

Fire crews used breathing apparatus and hose reels to bravely get inside the house and rescue the family’s pets.

Leigh said: “I just threw the phone at my mum and left the children with her and rushed back home.

Ruby the kitten

Ruby the kitten - Credit: Archant

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“The back of the house was all black and my first thought was for my dog.

“I got out of the car even before my other half had stopped it and I jumped out to see how my dog was.”

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Leigh was relieved to find her tiny kitten Ruby had escaped the flames, and was being held by a neighbour, and another brave resident had jumped over the garden wall to rescue her rabbit, Skye, but there was still no sign of her Labrador.

“I was asking where my dog was and I don’t think they even realised there was a dog inside. The firemen managed to bring him out. It looked like there was relief on his face.

“The fireman said he had to crawl across the floor to get to him because he was growling at him as he was so scared.

“I just burst into tears, I was so happy he was perfectly fine.”

The family are now having to live in a hotel while the fire and smoke damage to their home is cleared up.

The fire is so far not though to be suspicious.

Leigh added: “I’m so grateful that the fire brigade got there within 60 seconds and one of our neighbours raised the alarm, and I’m so thankful for everyone who helped us out. I don’t even know who most of them were.

“You never expect it to happen to you, it’s so surreal it’s like having a nightmare.”

“We’re so lucky that my son wanted to go over to his nan’s otherwise we would have been in the house.”

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