Mum of one faces rehoming after heatwave furniture fire leaves house in tatters

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A woman was left horrified after garden furniture went up in flames during the UK’s hottest day on record yesterday (Tuesday, July 19).

Kirsty Gawne, 27, claimed that the corner sofa set she bought from Homebase set alight during the heat, spreading onto the back of her home.

The mum, who lives in Stockbridge Village, Merseyside, had been at home with her child and dog when she discovered something wasn’t right.

READ MORE: UK heatwave: Why thunderstorms and heavy rain often follow scorching weather

The mum-of-one claims: “I was upstairs with my little boy getting him ready to go to school. I got him out of the bath and I went to put stuff in the washing machine.

“When I went in the kitchen the dog was at my feet and he’s never normally like that.

“I turned around and just see my living room was all smokey. There must have been wind because I saw flames blow past the door and I panicked because I didn't know where I’d put my phone."

As she was the only adult in the house, she desperately sought help from her neighbours.

Kirsty claims: “I opened the front door and the dog ran out,” she said. “I was screaming at the baby to come down and I was in the street screaming for help. One of my neighbours came out and saw it and rang the fire brigade.

"The woman took my dog in and she went next door and got their hose and started trying to put it out herself.

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“The fire bridge turned up and they put it out.”

She claims the fire brigade told her that the blaze had started from the furniture, a Rattan Alexandria set worth around £300, which consisted of an L-shaped sofa and a small table.

Kirsty said she bought the furniture in March.

She added: “It had just gone up in the heat and started the fire. So it had spread from my furniture to the whole outside of the back of the house and into the living room.”

The NHS mental health nursing assistant said the whole outside of the house, the back door, four windows, roof and guttering were all damaged in the blaze.

The damage is so bad that her housing association are now trying to move Kirsty out of her home and into a new place in order to carry out the repair work.

“They're trying to move me out of the house and put me somewhere else,” she claims.

“I’ve put all my savings into that house and only been there five months so I don't want to move.

“How nice the neighbours were, all helping and pitching in I don't want to move where people aren't like that.”

Since the fire, Kirsty claims she’s tried to get Homebase to recall the product, but when she suggested it she was told she could either have another or leave a review.

She said: “It shouldn't have gone on fire if it was garden furniture.

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“I bought it from Homebase so I got in touch with them and he basically said, ‘do you want another one?’ So I said well, no, I've already had one fire I don't want another one and I think you need to do a product recall and stop selling them. They're obviously not right.

“He said we can’t do that, all you can do is leave a review of the product. I thought that was pretty shocking, to be honest.”

The Daily Star has contacted Homebase and ForHousing for comment.


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  • Fire
  • Heatwave

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