FIRE crews sprang into action after an emergency call went dead – just as the caller screamed to her kids to get out of the house.
Arriving in Saughall, they found the house on fire but the family safe on the driveway.
The fire at Greenway, Saughall, was thought to have started from a tumble dryer left on while the owner was out taking her daughter riding. Thanks to her quick actions, the fire was contained in the utility room.
The mother, who did not wish to be named, said: “The outhouse is just a shell. There was sentimental stuff in there, like my son’s first football boots, but we were really lucky.
“I’ve always switched my dryer on when I go out but never again. Like a lot of people, I thought it wouldn’t happen to me.”
The blaze started at 4.55pm on Sunday and caused about £500 of damage. It damaged the electrics and switched off the house phone during the call.
Another festive home was damaged after faulty lights set the Christmas tree on fire.
The flames spread through the living room in Cambrian View, Chester, destroying the curtains, rugs and settee.
The family of five were enjoying a meal with two friends when the blaze began at 9.50pm on Saturday.
They were alerted by smoke detectors and came through from the kitchen to discover the tree on fire and quickly shut all doors which prevented it spreading.
Colin Chambers, 51, said: “We just heard a sound like hail on windows , or like gushing water – it was the sound of the tree burning. It was a freak accident. We switch the lights off at night but we were in the next room.”
The television, phone and several precious paintings were destroyed. Two fire crews from Chester spent more than two hours extinguishing the fire and making the house safe, but described the room as “wrecked”.