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Newmarket family left homeless by house blaze

Charles Close fire, Newmarket (6891419)
Charles Close fire, Newmarket (6891419)

A mother and her four children had a lucky escape after fire ripped through the upstairs of their home in Newmarket’s Charles Close.

Dona Martin, together with her son, and three daughters, all aged between seven and 14, managed to get out of the family home after the blaze started in her son’s bedroom at around 11.15pm on Sunday.

Fire crews from Newmarket and Soham fought the blaze but firefighters from Burwell were unable to respond as thieves had broken into their Reach Road station the same night and stolen life-saving cutting gear.

Condemning the theft, Cambridgeshire’s Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: “How anyone can steal life-saving equipment from an emergency service is just beyond me. Luckily everyone was out of the house safely at the incident in Newmarket and we were able to send a crew from Soham to support Newmarket who responded quickly. Had there been an incident more locally, the delay in responding would have been much more significant.”

Charles Close fire, Newmarket
Charles Close fire, Newmarket

David Turner, watch commander at Newmarket, said: “The fire involved the roof beams and the ceiling collapsed on the first floor. It was a very serious fire in the first floor bedroom and there was a considerable amount of damage to the property. The cause is still being investigated.”

Friends and family of Ms Martin are now doing their best to help the family who are waiting to be found a temporary home. Friend Samantha Harrison has started a Justgiving page to try and raise £1,000 for the family and has so far collected nearly £400.

“Dona and the children got out of the house in their pyjamas and that’s all they’ve got as virtually the whole of the top floor of the house has gone. The children have lost all their Christmas presents and I would like to try to raise as much as possible so we can get the family back to a normal life as soon as possible. “

Anyone who would like to help with the fund-raising should go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/samantha-harrison-5