A family of five says it has ‘lost everything’ after their electric car caught fire and destroyed their home in a devastating blaze.
Julie Hensby, 44, has spoken of the chaos as she fetched her three sleeping children from their beds as a fire spread from their electric car and towards their house.
Mrs Hensby and her husband David, 48, their son Jay, 15, and twin daughters Summer and Aimee, nine, were all asleep when the fire broke out.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service were called at 11.14pm on Monday to reports that a car was on fire and threatening a property in Ruddlemoor, near St Austell.
The family say they may not have been aware of the blaze as it spread from the charging point outside to the front door had it not been for some strangers driving by their property and stopping to wake them.
‘If it wasn’t for them then this could have been a whole different story,’ the mother-of-three told CornwallLive.
‘The neighbours all had to flee their houses as the van started to catch fire to the electrical wires and there were explosions going off as the fire took hold,’ she said.
‘It was engulfed in flames within ten minutes of us escaping.’
Mrs Hensby said the family is still very much in shock and, left with just the clothes on their backs, face months in emergency accommodation until their home can be sorted. ‘I got my girls out and then had to run back in to alert my disabled son of the fire.
‘My son was poorly with a brain tumour when he was young and then went on to have strokes due to the treatment,’ she said.
‘He has struggled and been in and out of hospital his whole life and he is deaf because of his treatment so couldn’t hear me shouting but I got to him and woke him up and we got out.’
‘The people who stopped and the neighbours were all amazing and everyone rallied around checking on each other and looking after each other. I am totally overwhelmed at how much we all looked out for each other.’
The neighbours all had to flee their houses too as the van started to catch fire to the electrical wires and there were explosions going off as the fire took hold.’
Mrs Hensby said the house had been destroyed from the fire and smoke damage, and that they had tried to salvage their belongings as they had no insurance.
She said: ‘We have lost everything and are now in emergency accommodation until the house can be sorted. This may take months.’
‘We only have the clothes that are wearing but we have lost everything in the house. We are devastated and don’t even know where to start. I think we are still in shock and very shaken and jumping at every noise. This shouldn’t have happened.’