A mother of five who lost everything in a house fire has praised her daughter for evacuating the family from the blaze.
Sarah Ratcliffe has told how the devastation of losing all her belongings and her home has been eased by the fact that her parents and children escaped safely thanks to the quick-thinking of 12-year-old daughter Courtney.
The family’s home was destroyed on Wednesday when her son’s television caught fire in his bedroom.
– Sarah Ratcliffe
“I’m heart-broken, particularly about the things that can’t be replaced like pictures of the kids when they were babies.
“I’m devastated and I’ve lost everything but I’m just so proud of what Courtney did, she was brilliant.
“She got her sisters and just got out of there.”
Courtney, aged 12, said: “The fire alarm was going off, my brother went to see why and he came running down the stairs and said there was a fire.
“I took my little sisters out the back and brought them around the front to a neighbour’s house. It was just instinctive.”
Courtney and her siblings – Lureice, aged 11, Lexus, aged nine, Shannon, aged six, and Summer Poppy, aged one – all escaped the fire unharmed along with their grandparents and cousin Declan, aged 14.
– Councillor David Acton, Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority
“What Courtney did is absolutely amazing. It is terrible that the family have lost so much in this fire but, thanks to their sister’s calm response, they all got out safely and still have each other.
“It’s frightening to think what could’ve happened if there hadn’t been a working smoke alarm and if Courtney had not reacted in the way she did.
“Our firefighters can help you with safety in the home by talking about escape plans and fitting smoke alarms when they come out to do a Home Safety Check – if you haven’t had one, please let Sarah’s story prompt you to do so.”