Family lost ‘almost everything’ in devastating blaze

The fire at Hassocks on Friday. Pic by Eddie Howland
The fire at Hassocks on Friday. Pic by Eddie Howland

A family who had a lucky escape after their home was gutted by a blaze have spoken of their devastation after losing ‘almost everything’.

Six crews were called to Sycamore Way, in Hassocks, on Friday (March 3) after a fire broke out in the semi-detached home.

Charred remains of hairdryer  after Hassocks fire.

Charred remains of hairdryer after Hassocks fire.

The fire service said a hairdryer left under a pile of clothes started the blaze and released a warning over electrical hair care devices.

The blaze broke out in a first floor bedroom just before 4pm.

Crews said the home was well alight and the fire caused substantial damage to the first floor,

The ground floor suffered smoke damage but firefighters managed to stop the fire from spreading, saving a neighbouring home.

Cameron Mckechnie, owner of the damaged home, said: “It’s such a shame that a simple thing can cause such devastation, I would like people to learn from this terrible disaster from us and make sure they unplug all their electrical appliances that are not designed to be left on.”

A spokesman for the fire service added the family was “lucky to escape” and “lost almost everything”.

Crews from Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Partridge Green, Crawley, Steyning and the Intervention and Prevention team tackled the blaze.

Firefighters have issued a warning over hair appliance following another blaze in a Worthing rest home just before Christmas.

Gavin Watts, deputy chief fire officer, said: “This devastating fire has had a terrible impact on the family. It is lucky that nobody was hurt and that the prompt and professional actions of our crews stopped the fire spreading further.

“It is very easy for us all to forget that household appliances, like hairdryers and straighteners, can cause such horrific damage if not used carefully. We would urge everyone to make sure appliances like these are switched off and unplugged when not in use and to make sure they are familiar with the manufacturers’ instructions.”

Firefighters have urged people to anyone who discovers a fire in their home to get out, stay out and dial 999.

“One of the teenagers at the Hassocks property told fire officers he was surprised how quickly the flames had developed when he tried to go back in to retrieve some items,” a fire service spokesman added.

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