The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Family flees fire-ravaged home
A BALLINGRY family and their pet dog — which had been feared killed — had a dramatic middle-of-the-night escape from the blaze which claimed their home.
The couple, named locally as Cheryl and James Dow, and their four children ran for their lives when a fire broke out in the loft of their Ballingry Crescent home.
The family initially feared they had lost their pet boxer dog in the blaze, which occurred at around 4.30am on Saturday in the mid-terraced two storey house.
However, firefighters later discovered the family pet, scared and shakeing, hiding under a bed in a first floor bedroom.
A total of 25 firefighters were called to battle the blaze, which lasted for nearly three hours. The flames eventually brought the roof of the property crashing down and left the upper rooms completely exposed.
Two appliances had been sent from Lochgelly Community Fire Station but the fire had taken such a hold that further crews from Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes were called for. The blaze was eventually brought under control just after 7.10am.
The damage was so great that it left the neighbouring properties on either side vulnerable as well.
The Dow family and their immediate neighbours were evacuated for their own safety and the three properties were cordoned off.
Group manager Alex Smart said: “Work to bring the fire under control was initially conducted from inside the house.
“However, a short time after arrival, the fire broke through the roof and crews were immediately withdrawn to a safe area, continuing their firefighting efforts from outside the house.
“Some time after this, the roof collapsed into the building.
all occupants of the house were safe but also knew that a dog, the family pet, was unaccounted for.
“However, conditions within the property were too hazardous to commit crews to search.
“Whilst the fire investigation team were conducting preliminary investigations in the ground floor, they heard a noise from the first floor and reported this to the crew in attendance.
“The crew excavated an area of debris in a first-floor bedroom and located the family’s dog under a bed, scared but apparently uninjured.”