Mum is hailed a hero as fire wrecks family home

A FIRE forced a mum-of-four to escape her home in the middle of the night after a tumble dryer caught fire, putting the family’s 18-month-old baby at risk.

Barry Farrell described his wife Samantha as a ‘hero’ after she managed to get baby Dorothia, Gabriel, aged two, six-year-old Beatrice, and Dolores, aged eight, safely out of their burning home.

Samantha, aged 37, was woken by a smoke alarm at about 11pm on December 10 and quickly grabbed her four children and ran outside to safety.

She said: “I came downstairs when I heard the alarms. The whole house was filled with smoke and the smell was awful. I got the children out and then called Barry and the fire brigade.

“Thank God we had smoke alarms and I woke up, or it could have been a lot worse. The house is completely gone, every room is smoke damaged, and there is paint peeling off the walls in every room, all the pictures, all the photos of the baby, it’s all gone. We’re homeless for Christmas.”

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Barry, aged 40, was out working at the couple’s restaurant, Farrells Irish Italian in Portishead, at the time and rushed home to Main Road, Cleeve, when he heard the news.

He said: “I’m absolutely shocked and I was very thankful my family got out safely. Samantha saved them. She’s the hero.

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“The house is totally destroyed. The fire brigade arrived before the whole place went up in flames, but it is absolutely devastated.”

Firefighters believe the fire was caused by static electricity from tea towels in the tumble dryer.

The family stayed with their next door neighbours on the night of the fire and have since arranged with relatives nearby to put them up.

Mrs Farrell added: “I have a positive attitude, because I know how bad these things can be.

“I just looked at my children the morning after and thought ‘thank God they’re alive’. Gabriel had a few troubles with his breathing, so we have to keep an eye on him, but we are all okay.”

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