Blaze survivor speaks after Lancaster fire
Hero neighbours came to the rescue of a grandad who was watching TV unaware of a fire just feet away.
Peter Heywood was watching TV when the blaze tore through his back garden on Ravens Close, Lancaster.
Concerned neighbours who had spotted the flames and thick smoke coming from Peter’s back garden banged on his door shouting, “Get out, your house is on fire!”
Peter, who celebrates his 80th birthday on Tuesday, praised his neighbours and said he wouldn’t be alive if they hadn’t knocked on his door.
Peter was watching the news when he heard a neighbour banging on his door.
Flames tore through his back garden on Ravens Close, edging nearer and nearer to his property and pet baby hens.
“If they hadn’t of knocked I would have been dead,” said Peter who has lived on the Vale estate for 40 years.
“I went to the back window and all I could see was smoke, everything was on fire.
“I dialled 999 but left it ringing as my neighbour said someone else had rung, the flames were just shooting about 20 foot up into the air.”
The windows to the back of Peter’s home cracked from the heat of the flames and guttering along the roof melted away.
“He came out, he was in shock, he was holding his head in his hands and I am not surprised, he thought his house was going to burn down,” said one neighbour.
His garden, which backs onto Fleet Green, contained various fruit trees, sheds, an aviary, fencing and other furnishings – all of which have been turned into ash. Luckily his baby hens were left unharmed.
“They were alright, I shut the back door I had only been out half an hour before so that’s why no smoke got in,” said Peter.
“It has hit me for six, it is my birthday, I am 80 on Tuesday.
“The smoke was horrendous, fire fighters got here just in time as the smoke was reaching the back of the house.”
Eight police cars and four fire engines (two from Lancaster, one from Morecambe, one from Bolton-le-Sands) were seen rushing to the scene on Monday at around 6.10pm.
Peter is being supported by neighbours, friends and family and will be treated to a family meal for his birthday on Tuesday.
Brock Close, Ravens Close and one end of Fleet Green was closed during the incident.
Police have launched an investigation into the fire.