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Family of ten flee Worthing house fire
A family of ten including seven children escaped a fire which has left them homeless.
It is understood a baby was amongst those who escaped the blaze in Meredith Road, East Worthing, on Saturday at 11am.
People said the house, a two-storey mid terrace, was occupied by Jason and Sheree King, who have eight children.
It is believed both the Kings and seven of their children, plus a grandchild, were in the house at the time of the fire.
Neighbours said the family were crying in the street after the blaze, which gutted much of the house.
Firefighters believe the cause was an electrical fault.
A pile of burnt and blackened toys was placed in the front garden on Saturday afternoon, while the front downstairs windows of the house had been boarded up.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, was at home when the blaze broke out.
She said: “I could smell smoke through the window and I thought it was a bonfire – I thought that was strange and I was annoyed because my washing was out. But the Kings were in the street and there was a big fire.
“I think it was an electrical fire. I heard they turned on a switch in the electrical box, went to warm up the baby’s bottle, and immediately started smelling smoke.
“Thankfully they all got out in time. I think they had smoke alarms which activated.”
Firefighters, fearing the blaze had spread, smashed in the back of one neighbour’s home to gain access to his property. Luckily his home was fire-free.
He asked not to be named, but said: “The firefighters did what they had to do.
“The most important thing is everyone escaped.
“People in the street helped after the fire. They were taking the children in and coming out with drinks.”
Minor injuries were caused to a firefighter, who suffered a burn to the neck while fighting the blaze.
A woman resident was also treated at the scene for shock.
Four appliances, including three from Worthing and another from Lancing, attended the blaze.
A fire spokesman said: “We were called to the scene just before 11am and as we drew close to it we could see huge plumes of smoke so realised this was going to be a major incident.
“We used breathing apparatus and two pressure hoses, which took around an hour to bring the fire under control. The whole of the ground floor was severely gutted and there was damage upstairs as well.”
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