A young mum whose ex-boyfriend tried to burn down her house while she and her two children were inside this week re-lived the horror of what happened.
Jemima Jones, 23, and her two children, along with friend Sean Allen, were asleep when Jemima was woken up around 2.30am “with the house full of smoke.”
Sean jumped out of bed, covered his face with a T-shirt. “I started panicking a little bit,” he said, but he ran into the bedroom of Jemima’s four-year-old daughter Roxy, picked her up and ran downstairs past flames, kicking past a stairgate and the burning front door.
As he fled outside with Roxy, he was met with the sight of pet dog Trixie frantically trying to unleash herself from her burning kennel. “Neighbours were chucking buckets of water over the dog house,” said Sean.
He shouted for someone to take Roxy, then bravely dashed back into the house to get to Jemima and four-month-old baby Swaily.
Meanwhile, Jemima was holding little Swaily out of the window. “I knew his little lungs couldn’t take the smoke,” she said.
Another neighbour managed to prop a ladder up to the window and Jemima passed Swaily to safety as Sean rushed back and grabbed her, again leading her past flames to safety outside.
Speaking of her gratitude this week, Jemima said: “Sean went back past the flames to get me, all credit to him. It was a brave thing to do.”
And she paid heartfelt thanks to her neighbours who rushed to help that night. But she hit out at her ex-boyfriend - Richard Rowe - for the devastation he caused and said that his six and a half year jail sentence was too lenient.
“I don’t think it’s enough for what he did,” she said. “It has ruined my whole life. I was meant to start college in September. The kids were settled. I had everything. Now I am homeless.”
Jemima, who is now staying with friends and family, has vowed to devote her life to looking after her two children. “I have to think about the future with my kids.”
She said she had no feelings for her ex, father to little Swaily. “I don’t hate him as that would mean I care about him. I despise him. What he did is sickening.”
She is now concentrating on re-building her family’s lives. “I have to leave it all in the past now,” she said.
Pet dog Trixie, who suffered burns in the fire, has since been re-homed.
See also https://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/man-jailed-after-setting-fire-to-his-ex-girlfriend-s-home-1-8406842