Very little remains of a house in Barrowby after a devastating fire tore through every room.
Four fire crews were called to the home in Low Road in the early hours of Sunday morning to fight the blaze, which escalated when flames reached a gas supply and blew out a window. Neighbouring properties were evacuated.
Although upset by the loss of their belongings, homeowners Janet and Phil Lee were simply thankful that they were not at home at the time of the blaze – nor their beloved cat Stokey.
Mrs Lee, 63, said: “They are just articles; not people, not animals.
“The first thing I said was ‘is the cat OK?’”
The couple were holidaying in Scotland when the fire began in the early hours of Sunday morning. It was a text message from their son reading: “Urgent. Call me” that led to them finding out about the fire.
On their return to their home later that day, they were met by the smouldering remains. Mrs Lee said: “Not having to see the fire I didn’t have to face it. It hasn’t shocked me because I didn’t see it. My husband is shocked more than me.”
Mr Lee, 62, was devastated by the loss of a prized fine ornament which took pride of place in the living room – a collectable which took him 10 years of searching to find. Although barely touched by the flames, a beam from the ceiling crashed down on to the ornament, destroying it.
Mrs Lee said she was barely concerned about losing everything in the house – instead, she was annoyed at the “aggravation” to come as the lengthy process of repairs begins and they search for a temporary home. She feared their home may have to be rebuilt as the structure is heavily damaged.
She added: “It’s happened and that’s that. There’s not a lot you can do. You just have to accept it and get on with it.”
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said the cause is still under investigaton, and Mrs Lee hoped that a cause is found to put her mind at rest.
She was full of praise for the fire crews which attended. They came from Grantham, Brant Broughton, Corby Glen and Newark, and were called at around 5.40am on Sunday.
Fire investigators say fire, smoke and heat have caused damage to 90 per cent of the house.