Wennington fire: Pensioner vows to rebuild fire-ravaged home she lived in for nearly 60 years

"I’m devastated, absolutely devastated, because I’ve lived there 58 years," Carole Hagar told ITV News.

A pensioner whose east London home was ravaged by a devastating fire which tore through her village during the heatwave has vowed to rebuild the property.

Carole Hagar moved to Wennington 58 years ago and brought up her two sons in a home where she had "lots of memories".

She was left devastated when a fire triggered by the intense heat engulfed her house along with dozens of neighbouring properties.

"I was hoping it would stop but it didn’t, It just went through the four semi-detached houses," Carole told ITV News.

"It was frightening but I think you just go on automatic pilot. You you just do what you’ve got to do.

"Our car was in the garage at the bottom of the garden and one of my sons got it out for me so we’re mobile if we haven’t got a home.

"I’m devastated, absolutely devastated, because I’ve lived there 58 years, brought my two sons up there, and my life is there," she added.

Aerial view of homes destroyed in the fire at Wennington

Rosie said she found it hard to watch images on television of the place she knew so well being destroyed by fire.

She kept hoping for the best but soon realised there was nothing anyone could do to save her beloved property.

'It was a lovely home'

"I was hoping on hope it wouldn’t reach my home. I’m not being selfish but I didn’t want it to reach my home - but it did," Rosie explained

"So long as I can get somewhere nice to stay while it’s being done I will rebuild it because I’ve lived there all my life.

The scene after a blaze in the village of Wennington, east London after temperatures topped 40C

"It was a lovely home, but these things happen and there’s not a lot you can do about that.

"There are a lot of memories. It’s just the inconvenience and hassle of it all," she added.

Rosie said she couldn't believe how quickly the fire moved through two rows of terraced houses, four other homes, as well as outbuildings, garages, stables and cars and 40 hectares of grassland.

Other people living nearby likened the wreckage to a scene from the Blitz while another resident, a mother of three told how her home was gone “within two minutes”.

Claire Taylor, 40, lost all but her grandfather’s ashes, some photos and clothes when Wennington went up in flames on Tuesday as the UK experienced its hottest temperature on record.

Her family was one of around 90 to be evacuated in Havering as tinder-dry conditions saw devastating fires break out in grassland before tearing through rows of houses.

Residents sought to rescue pets and salvage belongings but some were forced to flee largely empty-handed.

“My husband was on his way back to work and could see the fire was close to us… as he got closer he actually noticed one of our friends… their house went up,” Ms Taylor said.

“So he was in there trying to help them get out as much as they can; they’ve got quite a few pets and stuff.

“Within half an hour they were in our house trying to grab as much as they could but (then) the fire crossed the road… within two minutes of it hitting the field our house was gone.”

Ms Taylor, 40, who works in a charity shop, said residents who had lost their homes were still in shock but “trying to muddle through”.

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