Bottesford couple say ‘we were lucky to escape with our lives’

Sarah Browne (right) and her dog Taz are welcomed by Sysonby Knoll manager Vicky Wilkin EMN-150427-132544001

Sarah Browne (right) and her dog Taz are welcomed by Sysonby Knoll manager Vicky Wilkin EMN-150427-132544001

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A couple left homeless when fire gutted their house said they’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness shown by residents and businesses.

Sarah and Rosie Browne and their dog, Taz, were lucky to escape with their lives when their neighbour’s house in Grantham Road, Bottesford, caught fire and spread to devastate their 1779-dated home 11 days ago.

Following the tragedy the couple have had to seek shelter at the Sysonby Knoll Hotel in Melton.

But despite their possessions being damaged by the smoke they said they’ve been heartened by the generosity and support of local people.

“It’s been unreal,” said Sarah, (44), who owns Derek Whitehouse Photography in Melton’s Church Street.

“Everyone has been so supportive and we just can’t thank people enough. You don’t know you’re part of a community until something like this happened and we’re just so touched by people’s generosity.”

Sarah and Rosie, who is deputy headteacher at Old Dalby Primary School, could face up to a year’s wait before they’re allowed back to their home. Sarah described the moment she realised her home was alight.

“We were working in the garden when we saw thick black smoke coming from the house. We came round to the front to investigate but it was too late and we could only wait for the fire brigade to arrive.

“The fire just seemed to take over and it was scary how quickly the house went up in flames.

“The upstairs bathroom and bedrooms have been completely ruined by the fire but downstairs isn’t as bad with most of our belongings untouched by the fire but covered by black soot.”

The pair said they are looking at new accommodation and concentrating on work to try to get back to some kind 
of normality.

The body of a woman was found at the cottage where the fire started. At the time of going to press police said they couldn’t confirm whether she died as a result of the fire. She has been identified locally as Lesley Grice.

Police said they weren’t treating the blaze as suspicious.