Family heartbroken as 'candle' sparks devastating house fire and kills three beloved dogs

Mark and Janet Sanderson, along with two of their sons, Harry and Charlie
-Credit: (Image: George Sanderson)


A family has been left heartbroken after a devastating fire tore through their home and killed their three beloved dogs.

Emergency services were scrambled to Henley Avenue in Cleveleys on Friday evening (May 24). Fortunately, the homeowners Mark and Janet Sanderson, along with their children Harry, 26 and Charlie, 25 were on their way to the cinema at the time of the catastrophic blaze which destroyed everything in its wake.

Talking to LancsLive, Mark and Janet's other son George described the moments when he was told about the fire that destroyed the home he grew up in. George said: "I got a phone call on Friday evening to say that my parent's house was on fire.

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"It was a bit of disbelief really. We rushed up to Cleveleys, we live Over Wyre in Stalmine and we could see the fire across the bridge in Stalmine. Well we could see the smoke anyway and then obviously when we got up Amounderness Way you could just see a plume of smoke in the air."

Once George got to the property, a devastating scene greeted him. As smoked billowed from the building, the three family dogs were brought outside to be resuscitated.

Unfortunately, their 10-year-old dachshund, seven-year-old Terrier and 12-month-old Jack Russell all passed away as a result of the blaze. They were buried at 1am after the fire was put out.

"A couple of moments later, my parents turned up and witnessed all of that but there wasn't much we could do," George added. "The fire brigade were fantastic, unbelievable. They didn't leave the dogs, they tried everything they could with them.

"They stayed with us until the early hours of the morning really, helping us do what we needed to do. It's just devastating what can happen within half an hour - they left the house at quarter past eight and by quarter to nine the whole house was ablaze."

Heading to their local cinema that evening, the family believe a candle had been left on in the dining room - which then caused the fire. George continued: "The house was filled with all sorts of memories and sentimental items. It was just a perfect situation for a fire to spread and jump from room to room.

"The icing on the cake, which was the really unfortunate bit, was that the house and their possessions weren't insured. This is the real devastating part.

"Don't get me wrong, the dogs are devastating, I mean that's heartbreaking. But to be in a position where they might have to rebuild this, with their own money, as much as they've got put to one side and whatever help of your community, well.

"They're in their 60s now. It's nothing something that you want to be doing when you're 60-years-old, rebuilding your life."

George says "some trinkets" and the lounge was relatively unscathed during the fire, but ultimately the smoke damage was "unbelievable" and the home is currently uninhabitable. As a result, the family are staying with George whilst they figure out their next steps.

"It's a tragic event you hear about, but you never see yourself or your family be involved in something like that," George said. "It is what it is, as much as it breaks everyone's hearts, there's nothing we can do to change the situation. We've just got to all work together to rebuild what was there."

To try and start up their lives again, a Go Fund Me page has been set up to help raise money for the family.