Community rallies to help family forced to flee their blazing home in Milton Keynes

A family of five lost all their possessions after a candle fell over in a bedroom and caused the whole house to go up in flames,

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:32 pm

Grace Wenham, 19, fell asleep with a candle burning in her bedroom at the Bradville home she shares with her mum Lucy and siblings.

She also had a fan on to cool the room and it is believed the fan blew the candle flame, causing bedding to catch fire.

"Grace woke up literally covered in flames. Her face was burning. But she managed to get out and wake the others," said family friend Amy Pickles.

The upstairs burned away and the roof caved in
The upstairs burned away and the roof caved in

Grace, sister Lillian, 22, and mum Lucy miraculously got downstairs and out of the door to safety, scooping up the family cat as they went. Brother Jake, 29, was luckily staying elsewhere that night.

"As soon as they got outside there was a bang and the windows exploded. They were really lucky not to have been hurt," said Amy.

Brave Grace then went back inside the blazing Kingsfold house - to rescue her pet turtle.

"She grabbed the turtle and it was fine," said Amy, "But the flames spread very quickly because it's made of wood and it had been dry weather for a couple of days."

Sisters Grace and Lillian lost everything

Despite firefighters' best efforts, the whole of the upstairs burned away and the roof caved in, damaging the rest of the house.

Amy said the family wants to raise awareness of how quickly fire can spread in timber-framed houses.

"They've lost everything and the house can't be lived in. They stayed with a friend for a few days and now the council has rehoused them.

The new home is in Bletchley and the family had nothing when they first moved in.

"People have been really good and given them clothes and bits of furniture. They had lived in Kingsfold for 14 years so lots of people knew them and wanted to help," said Amy.

"But they still need more and I've started a fundraising page to help them," she said. "All proceeds will go directly to the family and every penny will contribute to rebuilding their lives."

You can view the fundraising page here.