Razed by dryer fire

2 cats & ‘99% of pos­ses­sions’ lost as fam­ily went shop­ping

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - SQUARE EYES - BY STEPHEN WHITE

A FAM­ILY are dev­as­tated after a tum­ble dryer fire ripped through their home de­stroy­ing ev­ery­thing and killing their pet cats.

Alan Beal and part­ner Nikki Coop, both 35, were not in­sured for the con­tents of their home and “lost 99%” of their be­long­ings in the blaze.

Dad-of-three Alan said: “I tried to save the cats but the smoke was too thick, I couldn’t see or breathe in there.”

The blaze took hold while no one was home, and is be­lieved to have been sparked by a 10-yearold tum­ble dryer.

Alan had loaded it be­fore he took daugh­ter Ruby, four, and son Lu­cas, 10, to nearby Asda to buy food for their evening meal.

When he re­turned, he found the house burn­ing and the fire ser­vice at the prop­erty. He tried to shield Ruby and Lu­cas from the dis­tress­ing scene and took them to his in-laws’ home, on the op­po­site side of the street.

Mr Beal, who works for Tesco Mo­bile, then made a des­per­ate bid to save his cats Smokey and Fluffy from the burn­ing house. He said: “Per­son­ally, that’s the worst thing, that’s what hurts most. Emo­tion­ally, burying the cats was the hard­est, be­cause it was so fresh.”

Alan of Bolton, Gtr Manch­ester, told how, de­spite his ef­forts to save his daugh­ter from the up­set­ting sight, lit­tle Ruby saw him try­ing to get in the house.

He said: “They didn’t see a lot but my daugh­ter has ad­mit­ted see­ing me try­ing to get into the house and was scared I was go­ing to die.

“Nikki is pretty shaken up, it’s hard. She is strug­gling. So far I’ve sal­vaged about five items and I’m not even sure they’re worth sal­vaging.”

The cou­ple are also count­ing the cost of the dam­age to their home and pos­ses­sions.

Mr Beal con­tin­ued: “We’ve lost ev­ery­thing, we were not con­tents in­sured.”

Friends and col­leagues are do­ing what they can to help. The fam­ily be­lieve the tum­ble dryer was the cause but the make of the dryer is not known.

The Mir­ror has cam­paigned for ac­tion on faulty ap­pli­ances. A fire bri­gade probe into the blaze con­tin­ues.

ALL GONE Alan Beal by his burnt out home where his cats died WARN­ING A pre­vi­ous dryer fire

DAN­GER Our dodgy dryer re­port

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