Large blaze ruins home

GUTTED: Mick Hampshire's house in Lees Holm, Thornhill Lees, which was destroyed by a fire on Monday morning. (d310111 55)
GUTTED: Mick Hampshire's house in Lees Holm, Thornhill Lees, which was destroyed by a fire on Monday morning. (d310111 55)
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A RETIRED miner had a lucky escape when the house he was born in was gutted in a blaze.

Mick Hampshire, 61, has now had to leave the home he has spent his whole life in, in Lees Holm, Thornhill Lees.

He said: “All my life is there. All my friends and neighbours are there.”

Mr Hampshire was woken up by a loud bang and his smoke alarm in the early hours of Monday morning.

He said he had to wrap a wet towel around his face in order to get down the stairs safely and make it outside.

Mr Hampshire said: “It was just devastation. Everything in my life flashed before me. All my life is there.”

Next door neighbour Vicky Johnson called the fire brigade at around 1am.

She said: “Mick wanted to go back in to the house but I wouldn’t let him. He was in shock more than anything.”

Miss Johnson also rushed to get her own children out of her house and wake up her other neighbours.

A spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service said paramedics were called by firefighters just before 2am.

Mr Hampshire was taken to Dewsbury and District Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. He was discharged at around 6am.

A Dewsbury fire station spokesman said two crews went out to fight the blaze and that three-quarters of the house was on fire when they arrived.

A police spokeswoman added: “Police investigators are working with the fire service to establish the full circumstances.”