Couple lucky to escape Stoke house fire
The owners of a Stoke house completely destroyed in fire have miraculously escaped unharmed.
Lesley Morris and her husband Leslie were on the bottom floor of the their three-storey home in Arapiki Rd eating lunch and watching Emerdale Farm when they heard a noise in the garage, which is on the middle floor.
They opened the door to find black smoke billowing out.
"I said, 'let's get out of here'," said Lesley Morris.
They ran out onto the road, calling out that they were okay.
The shaken couple have owned the insured home for 15 years.
"We have nothing left but what we are wearing," she said.
"You don't realise how quickly this can happen."
A friend, Chris Allred, said they were lucky to get out.
The fire started about 11.50am and emergency services closed off the road.
'A BIG BANG'
Smoke from the fire was seen around Nelson.
Richard French, who had been driving along the Ridgeway, said: "I heard a big bang and I could hear windows breaking. I'm guessing it was gas or something."
Marc Monahan was in Tahunanui when he first saw the fire.
"It had just started and it was like nothing and within five minutes it just lit up."
'THE FLAMES WERE SHOCKING'
A neighbour who lives just behind the two-storey house, Marjorie Shand, said: "It has been horrendous, the flames were flying out, it was just so quick.
"It was roasting hot in our back door. I've never gone through anything like that before. We were ready to leave.
"It sounded terrible, all the windows were bursting and flying out, there are a lot windows. It was like nothing on earth, the flames were shocking."
She said by the time emergency services arrived, the house was well alight and the second-storey collapsed.
She said another neighbour was outside hosing his fence and dampening down in case the fire started to spread.
"The smoke is still coming out, but they would have lost everything."