Exclusive: Egerton Road house fire student speaks about the ordeal

“I just had to watch my room burn. I lost all my belongings.”

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A house fire. It’s that worst nightmare you never think will happen to you. Your Mum tells you not to overload the sockets and at fresher’s fair a firefighter reminds you check your alarm once in a while. You never do. Fires are one of those distant horrors that don’t happen to you: just friend’s of friends or strangers two roads over.

Last Thursday, a student house on Egerton Road had the front bedroom gutted by a fire. In less than an hour, the street became a scene from a TV crime drama: 4 fire engines, police cars and an ambulance. Policemen set up a cordon and at least 11 firemen, some kitted out in breathing equipment, looked on as the remnants of the fire spilled out black acrid smoke from a blown out window. Neighbours watched from their doors. Two shaken housemates, one with a blanket over his shoulders, stood across the street, visibly shaken. One of them was Ash Moore.

A second year mechanical engineering student at LJMU, Ash has spoken exclusively to The Tab about their experience.

There was no dramatic start to the fire and the boys only realised something was amiss when their lights cut out.

“Basically the electricity cut out so me and my flat mate Daniel Watt went to look at the fuse box. It was smoking. Then my flat mate saw black smoke coming from my room on the bottom floor. We opened my door.

“The room was completely full of black smoke and there was a small flame in the corner from an extension lead. We tried to go in but there was way too much black smoke so we left the house and rang the fire brigade.”

The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service were alerted about the fire at 1:58pm. By 2:03pm, they had arrived at the scene.

“I’ve not even sure how long it took for them to come. It felt like ages but I think they were pretty quick on the scene. And then I just had to watch my room burn. I lost all my belongings.”

Ash is now staying at his mum’s house.

The ground-floor bedroom of the property was completely damaged, and the ground-floor kitchen and hallway sustained severe smoke damage. The stairwell, upstairs landing and other bedrooms upstairs also suffered smoke damage.

No one was injured in the incident. The boys left the house once they realised that the fire had started. Now the house stands out against the rest of terrace, blackened with boards instead of windows. The purple wheelie bin outside has melted onto the pavement. At 1:58pm, the fire was a small flame on an extension cable socket. In 5 minutes, it had grown so big it was spreading out the window and had melted the bin.

The empty house stands as a stark reminder of the speed at which fire spreads and how easily it could happen to anyone.