A family has shared their traumatic ordeal after a lit firework landed in their garden and set their house on fire – leaving it “burnt to a crisp”.
Lauren Bailey, 30, and her family have “lost everything” due to the horror blaze, including Christmas presents, and are now fearful that they’ll be homeless for the holiday.
The family-of-four, which also includes husband Andrew, 36 and their two kids, Savannah, 11 and Frankie, six, have only the clothes on their back left – but are taking each day as it comes while they work out their new reality.
Now, the general kitchen assistant is preparing to break the upsetting news to her kids that the festive season won’t be arriving this year.
“It’s destroyed our Christmas, as we had presents stored away and now they’re all gone,” the mum-of-two, from Bradford, told http://NeedToKnow.co.uk .
“I’m upset that I have to have this conversation with the kids, as it’ll break them.
“I can’t go back, and I’m not taking my children there, because the trauma is too much to face.
“We’re going to be homeless for Christmas unless we find somewhere else to live before then.”
Lauren and her family, who were excited to celebrate Bonfire Night on 5 November 2023, claim they set off fireworks in the early afternoon.
After enjoying the display, they cleaned up and went back inside, before heading to bed at around 9pm.
But then, two hours later, their smoke alarms started ringing, shocking the mum awake – and she spotted flames “gushing” from her kids’ bedrooms.
She said: “I saw the flames blazing from my kids’ bedroom windows and I froze, before adrenaline kicked.
“I screamed and pulled my kids out of bed and rushed out the front door.
“Suddenly, the windows all blew and flames started flying out of them.
“It was like a wildfire, as it cut straight through our home.
“Luckily, our neighbour had already called the fire brigade to attend, as we didn’t have any phones on us – just our pyjamas.”
While the exact cause is still unknown, the family believe a lit firework is to blame after finding one in their garden, but a thorough investigation is currently being carried out.
In the meantime, they’re trying to piece their lives back together after losing all their clothes, pictures and precious belongings.
In a bid to help the family, a close friend has set up a GoFundMe, which has reached £4,862 out of their £6,000 target so far.
Lauren added: “I’ve been staying at mum’s ever since, but when we saw the house the next morning, it was like a pile of dust.
“It’s completely ruined and everything is burnt to a crisp.
“We know it wasn’t our fireworks, as I made sure to clean up properly – and ours were done hours before.
“Right now, we’re just taking everything as it comes, but it’s been a living nightmare.”