Distraught cat lover hunts for missing pets in scorched Dagenham estate compared to 'zombie movie'

A grandmother whose home was wrecked by wildfire today made a desperate appeal for help finding her cats.

Ann Dempsey returned to Farm Close, on the West Ham estate, Dagenham, to search for Tinkerbell, Louie and Merlin.

Her home was one of 20 destroyed or badly damaged when an inferno spread from the nearby Leys Country Park on Tuesday.

Barking & Dagenham council leader Darren Rodwell described the devastation as ‘like something from a zombie movie’.

"It's where nature has turned from being beautiful into an inferno," Mr Rodwell said.

"As we understand it there were two fires during the heat of the day, that became one, and was so fierce it was able to jump the road and burn some properties the other side.

"Then there was a third fire later that evening," he added.

Homeless families spent Tuesday night in a council rescue centre at a local football club.

Ann Dempsey's missing cats Tinkerbell, Louie and Merlin

'They're my babies'

Ann said she was devastated at the loss of her home of 30 years but her priority is to find her missing moggies.

"They're my babies, anyone who finds my three cats please take them in," Ann said.

"Take them to a shelter so if they need treatment they can get treatment but please, I just need my cats," she added.

Ann said she was still in shock and still couldn't believe what happened after "losing everything". She had no insurance.

She praised firefighters, the Red Cross charity and the local council for doing evertything they could to help.

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