Murphy the dog warns owners of fire

A PORTISHEAD businesswoman has been left homeless after fire caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to her home.

Bev Langdale, who runs Portishead Fish Bar, was alerted to the blaze at her home at Nore Park Cottage in Pinecroft, in the early hours of February 29, by her black Labrador, Murphy.

She said: “When I returned home from a night out at around 11.30pm I could smell something unpleasant, but after a good look around upstairs I found nothing and joined my partner Andy downstairs to watch TV.”

Murphy started barking, so Andy let him out into the garden thinking he wanted to go out. However Murphy refused to be silenced and continued to bark, looking up at the roof. The couple then realised something was wrong and went outside to see flames leaping from the roof.

Six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze, which had taken hold of the roof, using two high pressure hose reels and a 45mm jet. They also stripped away several roof tiles to access the fire and make sure it was put out. It took around three hours to bring the fire under control.

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A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue said the fire started in the roof void and is thought to relate to the chimney and a wood burning stove. He said: “It is lucky the householders had a dog which alerted them to the fire but this is also a typical example of why smoke alarms are so important.”

The fire which badly damaged the roof also destroyed furniture and personal belongings on the first floor and has made the cottage uninhabitable.

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Bev is currently relying on friends and family to accommodate her and Murphy while a big clear up gets underway.

Bev added: “We are still in shock but would like to say a big thank you to everyone who being so kind and offering both help and good wishes.”

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