December 6 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
INVESTIGATIONS have found that a fire at a house in Burwell, in which a mother died, was most likely caused by smoking materials.
The woman, named locally as Miranda Drew, was found dead after flames swept through the semi-detached bungalow in Hawthorn Way on Saturday morning.
Mrs Drew, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, lived with her daughter and her partner, Graham. Neither of them were at home at the time of the fire.
This week, neighbours spoke of people trying to get into the home to save the woman but were beaten back by the flames.
Next-door neighbour Steve Brand called the incident “very frightening” as it all happened “in a matter of seconds”.
He had sat down to eat his breakfast when he heard the fire alarm go off next door.
He said: “I heard it beeping and was about to go and see what was going on and the next thing I knew was a knock on the door with a neighbour telling me ‘you’d better get out quickly’.
“Smoke was billowing everywhere and out of our loft and the flames were coming through the roof. I thought our house was going to go up.”
Mr Brand said that a man from across the road and a delivery man had tried to get into the house.
He added: “They kicked the door in, but they just couldn’t get through to them. The smoke and fumes were too overwhelming.”
Mother-of-five Laura Watkinson, who lives opposite, said the dead woman was “a lovely lady who had a lovely daughter”.
She added: “She will be sadly missed and all her friends will stand by her partner and family.”
Two fire crews from Newmarket and one each from Burwell, Cambridge and Soham, along with a water carrier from Newmarket, tackled the fire for more than two hours, but the flames quickly spread and the roof was destroyed.
A fire service spokesman said: “Following a fire investigation, fire service findings indicate the cause of the fire to be accidental.
“Investigations show the most likely cause of the fire was smoking materials.”