Magnifying glass caused blaze which destroyed treasured possessions

Woman speaks out on the devastating impact a fire can cause.
Woman speaks out on the devastating impact a fire can cause.

A businesswoman has spoken out on the devastating impact of a house fire which dramatically changed her life.

Louisa Sheridan came home one day to find that a fire, caused by a magnifying glass in her office, had ripped through her home, destroying all her family’s treasured possessions.

Her family were forced to move out of the property for months whilst insurers assessed the extent of the damage, a claim was processed and the house rebuild got underway. Not only did she lose treasured and irreplaceable items but her family lost clothes, furniture, electrical appliances and soft furnishings. Also, distressingly, her daughter lost all her GCSE coursework.

Louisa now wants to raise awareness to ensure no one else has to suffer the trauma that she and her family endured and wishes to tell others not to underestimate the impact of such a upsetting experience. The family had to uproot and move into a hotel for a long period of time and Louisa was unable to run her business from home, as her home-based office was destroyed.

Louisa, of Crowborough, said: “The list of telephone calls I had to make were endless, including everyone from the insurance company, council and utility companies. The ‘to do’ list was extensive, not to mention replacing family clothing, which was time-consuming and expensive.

“I want others to realise the importance of building and contents insurance, smoke alarms, as well as fire doors, having experienced the profound impact of fire damage. All these are crucial to safeguarding your possessions, life and property.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Mark Andrews, said: “Crews attend incidents where residents are lucky there were no fatalities, and often this is down to the hard work and professionalism demonstrated by our crews for ensuring everyone gets out safely.”