‘I have never seen anything
Stanhope ward member Cllr Brendan Chilton was at the scene of the fire on Monday night. He arrived in Brenchley Close at around 9pm.
He said: “It really was an horrific site. It was a pillar of smoke. I mean, you’d never seen anything like it.
“When I was there the flames had near enough gone out, but the firefighters were still spraying the house. There was just a lot of smoke.”
The Labour councillor also praised the emergency services, adding: “I have never seen so many firefighters in one place. The work they did was outstanding.
“Luckily the family and their two dogs made it out of the house.
“The support from neighbours was brilliant. I was with the family on Monday night and people were already handing Rose things. They were worried about losing family pictures, but they did say a lot of them have been uploaded to Facebook.
“What is so worrying is how quickly the fire took off.
“Next door also suffered smoke and water damage.”
Aftermath of the blaze, inset, Brendan Chilton