Leyland flat is gutted by fire - caused by a shaft of sunlight

The burnt out flat
The burnt out flat
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A young family has been left devastated by a freak fire - caused by sunlight reflecting off an ornament.

Keiran Hall and Philip Ashcroft lost virtually everything in the blaze which began when reflected sunlight ignited cotton curtains in their small Leyland flat.

The burnt out flat

The burnt out flat

Their young son, Darryl, 11, who has ADHD and detachment disorder, lost a lot of toys in the blaze.

Now folk are rallying round to help through a gofundme account to help Keiran, 24 and Philip, 31 - who are engaged and due to get married on Thursday, October 25.

The blaze at the New Progress Housing Association-owned, two bedroom flat on Towngate, broke out on Friday, September 13.

The family has lived there for about two years.

Philip, who originates from Hesketh Bank, is registered disabled and Keiran, from Leyland, is his full-time carer.

The couple were out at the time of the fire and Darryl was at school.

“Me and Phil had just gone out to see one of my cousins.

“We got a phone call at 12.20pm.

“We’d just gone out twenty minutes prior to the phone call.

“My aunty was passing, she was going to pick her husband up.

“She said I saw your front door had been been kicked in and saw two fire engines.

“She rang Phil and said what’s going on at your flat?

“She said it looks like the flat has gone up in flames.”

New Progress are repairing the property.

Keiran said the association has told them it will be four to six weeks before the work is completed and has put the family into a hotel.

He added that Darryl had been affected by the incident.

“He’s lost a lot of his personal belongings,” he said. “Over the weekend he’s been very unsettled because he’s lost a lot of his toys and clothing.”

He explained: “All our living room and kitchen was completely black because it’s open plan. It’s caused smoke damage in all the bedrooms.

“We’ve lost the settee, carpet, living room furnishings, the TV was completely shattered and on the floor. We’ve lost all our white goods in the kitchen - pretty much everything. We’ve lost clothing. Darryl’s toys in the living room.”

Keiran said they were “devastated” by the incident. “Shocked, to be honest,” he said. “You don’t expect it, do you. To be honest, it’s still not sunk in properly – the amount of stuff we’re lost. We have to clear the entire flat.”

Apart from the emotional impact, Philip has also suffered physically.

“Philip’s got a lot of chest problems. It’s got onto his chest and he’s got bad breathing problems,” said Keiran.

The partners were not insured. “We were looking at home insurance a couple of days before,” revealed Keiran.

A Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “The crew manager in charge of the incident believed the incident to be a cause of low (sun)light streaming through the window, reflecting off a glass ornament on the windowsill and causing a fire to ignite objects in the room.”

Progress Housing Group said: “We worked with the family to ensure that they had somewhere to stay over the weekend and have been liaising with the fire service throughout. Suitable temporary accommodation has been secured and support provided to the family whilst works are completed to ensure the property is safe for them to return to.” A gofundme page has been set up. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/a4782-rebuild-a-family-home