Firefighters beaten back by flames as blaze destroys family home
PUBLISHED: 11:37 12 April 2007 | UPDATED: 14:30 07 September 2010
By Marijke Peters A FAMILY S worldly possessions went up in smoke after a fire tore through their Hornsey home. The blaze ripped through the terraced house in Hillfield Avenue at around 7pm on Monday evening. Nobody was in the building at the time but the
By Marijke Peters
A FAMILY'S worldly possessions went up in smoke after a fire tore through their Hornsey home.
The blaze ripped through the terraced house in Hillfield Avenue at around 7pm on Monday evening.
Nobody was in the building at the time but the owner returned home to find flames bursting through the windows.
Neighbour Alan Fox, who watched from the street, said: "There was an enormous amount of smoke, it was pretty scary because it took off so quickly. The fire was pouring out of the windows, it completely took hold and the house was engulfed in flames."
Four fire engines and around 20 firefighters attended the scene and used high-powered jets to attack the flames.
But another neighbour who asked not to be named said: "They arrived within about 15 minutes but had very bad water pressure and they just couldn't put it out.
"It was just growing and growing. The flames were going past the second floor and suddenly there was a big bang and the windows blew out."
A tree outside the house caught fire and Hillfield Avenue was full of thick black soot.
It is believed the fire may have started after the resident left a wet mattress leaning on a radiator to dry then went out.
The neighbour said: "The man came back and was holding his head in his hands, he looked seriously upset, I felt really sorry for him.
"He was distressed and just couldn't believe it."
The ground floor of the house was completely destroyed and the first floor suffered 50 per cent damage. Guttering on the outside of the houses either side melted in the heat.
A police spokesman said: "The fire had blown the ground floor windows out and the whole of the ground floor was gutted. We believe that there was one occupant and they managed to get out safely suffering minor smoke inhalation."
The family were too upset to comment.