Mum saves lives of her six children as fire rages through their Grimsby home
THIS devoted mum saved the lives of her six children – including a baby who was sleeping upstairs – and three dogs when fire tore through their home, destroying their belongings.
Friends and family of Jo Mayben and Jamie Williams have rallied round to give the family clothing and food and provide accommodation after the blaze swept through their Glenfield Road, Grimsby home.
Supermarket Asda has also stepped in and donated clothes and food.
Jo has been praised for her rescue of her children and three dogs after an electrical fault sparked the kitchen fire.
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The music teacher described how she and her family were sitting in their front room as her one year old slept upstairs, when the fire started at 10am on Friday.
A zip-up suit bag hanging near a light fitting caught fire due to arcing from a fault in the light.
Within seconds, the kitchen of the two-storey home was ablaze.
A smoke detector activated and Jo’s six-year-old daughter Lucy screamed there was a fire in the kitchen.
Jo, 30, said she instinctively went to the kitchen to see if she could put out the fire. But she was beaten back by the flames.
She returned to her living room and grabbed her children’s hands and led them to safety at the front of the house as the flames grew out of control. The fire spread from waist height to the kitchen ceiling within seconds.
As she left Lucy, six, Amy, four and Ryan, two, at the front, she screamed to her sons Thomas, 13, and Jacob, nine, who were playing on a trampoline with their friend Sam Windgate, 12, in the back garden.
She told them to climb a fence into a neighbour’s garden to join them at the front and raced back in to carry her one-year-old son James from an upstairs bedroom.
She wept as she recalled running to pick him up and carrying him downstairs.
She said: “I could not see anything coming down the stairs. We got out and I could see my three dogs’ faces over the window sill.
I ran back in to get the dogs and take them outside. We were all screaming for help. I stopped a car and a lady got out to help. I am not sure what happened after that but we all stood and watched our home go up in flames. Everything has gone.”
She added: “I would have gone back in 100 times to get my family and the dogs.”
The family’s three pets – German Shepherd Alfie and patterdale cross mother and son Ritzi and Roo were uninjured.
Jo’s friend Alison Wingate raced to the family to offer help.
The parents and children are now staying with relatives dispersed across Grimsby.
Jamie, 33, said: “The house is immaterial. We can sort that later. But Jo has been a superstar getting the family to safety. I keep telling her she did the right thing, but she is beating herself up about it all. But we will just have to start all over again from scratch.”
The family did not have insurance.
Self-employed wall and floor tiler Jamie told how he was on a job in Cleethorpes when he received the phone call from a friend about the fire.
He said: “I dropped my tool bag and jumped in the van and got here as soon as I could.”
He told how the couple planned to get married next year.
Two fire engines from Cromwell Road fire station attended the house fire.
Humberside Fire And Rescue service watch manager, Phil Marshall, said: “The mother did exactly the right thing and got her family out. Her actions have saved the children, the ones nearest and dearest to her. It was an extensive and severe fire. The crew worked hard to get it stopped.”
Asda community life colleague, Claire Tilby, said: “The family is going to need everything. With Christmas coming up they have got nothing. No clothing, no shoes or anything.
“We have been pleased to support them with clothing and toys, and importantly, school uniforms so there is little disruption to the children’s education.
“The family are going to need a lot of goodwill.”
An investigation into the blaze is underway.
Keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph for updates.