A potter's kiln sparked a fire in a shed which was so intense it spread to a next door neighbour’s roof causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The female neighbour, who does not wish to be named, was in bed at the property in Sedum Close, Huntington, when she heard a noise around midnight last night (Sunday, May 17).
On realising there was a fire she ran out in her bare feet, wearing just a dressing gown, but was unhurt and feels lucky to have escaped without injury.
Fire crews from Chester and Ellesmere Port were called who used modern techniques to quickly tackle the roof although the timber looks likely to have to be replaced in any event.
The house had just been renovated over seven months at a cost of £70,000 ready for tenants to move in this Friday.
The female owner, who stayed with a neighbour overnight and has another property where she can live, said there were no hard feelings over what had happened.
She said: ‘I heard a noise and I thought it was a terrible wind or something. Then it was ‘Christ, I’m getting out of here fast’.
‘I’m staying with a neighbour and I feel very traumatised but there’s no blame. They are extremely nice people. At least we are still alive.’
She praised the fire service as ‘wonderful’ and thanked neighbours for their kindness in the early hours.
The couple, whose kiln and shed were destroyed, have been around to see the householder and said they will cover the repair costs.
There is damage to underground cabling supplying the kiln which will need to be looked at by an electrician.
The potter herself, who wished to remain anonymous, said everything was insured. “I’m devastated,” she added.
She said the kiln was firing pots at the time of the fire. It had been operating for six years without incident but there was a question mark over whether the regulator had failed. She said the pastime was part hobby and partly a way of making money.
Chester-based PDS Building Solutions, who recently finished the refurbishment of the property, were on scene this morning. A workman said the house would need new roof timbers, new ceilings and redecorating throughout. The estimated bill was likely to be a minimum £40,000.
Four fire engines and the aerial platform attended the scene with four hose reels used to extinguish the blaze.
Chris Rodaway, watch manager at Chester Fire Station’s White Watch, praised the ‘excellent team work’ of crews in quickly bringing the fire under control. He confirmed the cause of the fire was accidental ignition.