Man has lucky escape after Marsden house blaze

Plume of smoke could be seen for miles around

 

A man had a lucky escape after a blaze broke out at his Marsden home early today (Fri).

Motorbike enthusiast Paul Webster, of Warehouse Hill Road, had woken early and was watching television in bed when he heard cracking noises and smelled smoke.

Mr Webster, known locally as Zac, looked out of his bedroom window to see flames engulfing his bike shed. Flames were licking up the side of the three-story terraced house.

Mr Webster fled the house and dialled 999.

Firefighters were called at 5.45am and thick plumes of smoke could be seen for miles around.

The blaze is believed to have started in an attached wooden outbuilding which contained four motorbikes and motorbike spares.

The building was engulfed in flames and the fire spread to the ground floor of the house.

Cracking glass and exploding aerosols alerted Mr Webster to the fire.

When firefighters from Slaithwaite and Huddersfield arrived, neighbours in the terraced block were moving vehicles out of the way.

Watch commander Matthew Green, of Slaithwaite Fire Station, said Mr Webster had been very lucky.

“Fortunately he was awake and watching television in bed. He heard the popping and cracking of the fire, looked out of his bedroom window and saw flames licking up the side of the house.

“He didn’t have smoke detectors so it could have been a lot worse.”

Mr Green said the smoke could be seen from as far away as Slaithwaite and the outbuilding was well ablaze when firefighters arrived.

Crews used two breathing apparatus sets and two hose reel jets to tackle the flames. They were at the scene for two hours.

The blaze, which caused serious damage to the ground floor of the house, had started to spread to an empty rental property next door.

The owner of the house, Rob Armitage, told how Mr Webster rang him at 7am to tell him about the fire.

“He said the fire brigade definitely saved his house,” said Mr Armitage. “Fortunately he was awake in bed. If he had been asleep it might have been a different story.”

Mr Armitage, of Huddersfield, praised the work of firefighters. The porch of his house was slightly damaged.

Mr Green said the cause of the blaze was still under investigation but the motorbikes and contents of the outbuilding had been destroyed.

Neighbours reported that sheds and outbuildings had been targeted by thieves overnight.

Diane Green said her shed door had been taken off its hinges and a bike removed and dumped outside.

Police confirmed they were investigating.

 
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