Family who lost everything in Walpole house fire speak of their shock and sadness

PUBLISHED: 14:12 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:07 25 January 2018

Fire investigators were at the scene on Wednesday morning. Picture: Ian Burt

Fire investigators were at the scene on Wednesday morning. Picture: Ian Burt

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A family have spoken of their shock and sadness after losing their home of 34 years to a devastating fire.

The Hodgson family - Sandra, Ian and Sarah - lost everything in their family home of 34 years after a fire tore through three properties in Walpole Cross Keys. But they are glad everyone is safe and well. Picture: Taz AliThe Hodgson family - Sandra, Ian and Sarah - lost everything in their family home of 34 years after a fire tore through three properties in Walpole Cross Keys. But they are glad everyone is safe and well. Picture: Taz Ali

At around 5.15pm on Tuesday, a blaze ripped through three terraced houses in Sutton Road, Walpole Cross Keys.

One property was completely destroyed in the fire, while the other two sustained significant water and smoke damage.

Sandra Hodgson, 56, and her husband Ian, 55, lived in the middle property and lost everything in the fire, a home they have lived in since 1984.

They were at their workshop, Hodgsons Forge, in Wesley Road, Terrington St Clement, when they received a call from their neighbour.

“She called me around 5.20pm and said there was smoke coming out of the downstairs window of my neighbour’s house.” Mrs Hodgson said.
“I came round the corner and thought someone was having a bonfire. All I thought was I needed to get my dogs out.”

Fire crews used the property next door to access the burning building. Picture: Ian BurtFire crews used the property next door to access the burning building. Picture: Ian Burt

Firefighters were able to save the dogs - Harvey, Milly and Bonnie - but were unable to reach Mrs Hodgon’s tortoises Rosie and Jim.

But the fire investigation team returned to the scene this morning at around 9.30am and were able to rescue Rosie and Jim, who were both alive and well.

“They were in the vivarium hibernating, I went in to get them but it was so smokey I couldn’t get to them,” Mrs Hodgson said.

“Ian got the dogs out, it was very fortunate that they were in the conservatory and not in the living room. I thought if Rosie and Jim had died then at least it was in their sleep.”

The fire has badly affected all four properties at the terrace on Sutton Road in Walpole Cross Keys. Picture: Ian BurtThe fire has badly affected all four properties at the terrace on Sutton Road in Walpole Cross Keys. Picture: Ian Burt

The couple had to spend the night in their workshop.

Mrs Hodgson said: “I don’t know how I feel. I’m a bit numb, not taking it in. The downstairs is ruined, all water and smoke.

“But everyone is all right, that is the most important thing.”

Daughter Sarah Hodgson, 27, who lives in King’s Lynn, said: “My childhood bedroom is gone, we have been in this house since I was born.

Fire investigators were at the scene on Wednesday morning. Picture: Ian BurtFire investigators were at the scene on Wednesday morning. Picture: Ian Burt

“But it is just stuff, isn’t it? Everybody is safe and alive and that is the main thing, everything else can be replaced over time.”

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