Andrea Parmenter, 50, and Craig Bembrick, 47, came home to find that their house had gone up in flames after a fire broke out on Woodland Drive, Kingstone, Barnsley. The fire was one of many that occured yesterday, as a result of the intense heat on what was the hottest day the UK has ever seen.
Speaking to Yorkshire Live, Craig recounted the incident, saying: “I was asleep on the sofa and I was woken by one of my neighbours, Rebecca Gough, screaming.
“I stuck my head out and could see a neighbour was trying to hose the fire down. At first I thought someone must be trapped inside.”
Andrea added: “I was at work when it happened and the phone signal there is poor. I only found out what was happening when I went outside for a cigarette and found my phone had a load of messages pinged to it and missed calls.
“We stopped overnight at my mother’s in Dodworth and have come back this morning to see the damage and whether there’s anything salvageable. At least we’ve managed to find our 11-year-old ginger cat Ozzie. He’s been miaowing and we managed to feed him but we haven’t managed to pick him up yet.”
Craig joked about the kindness of Barnsley folk, who have raised thousands of pounds for the families affected.
He said: “Don’t send me flowers please send me socks – I had to run out of the house without any on.”
Doncaster and Rotherham were also affected by wildfires yesterday. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service declared a major incident due to the scale of the fires which destroyed homes and tore apart people’s livelihoods.
Many homes were completely destroyed with little but a frame left behind.
Thankfully, there have not yet been any reports of casualties.