Leeds family of seven lose everything as house destroyed by fire - urgent appeal launched for nappies, food and furniture

A family of seven in Seacroft have lost everything in a devastating house fire - and an urgent appeal has been launched to help get them food, furniture and items for their grandchildren.

By Alex Evans
Sunday, 24th January 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Sunday, 24th January 2021, 11:24 am

The Howard family, of Eastdean Drive in Seacroft, have been forced to leave their home after a fire started in the attic and ripped through their house.

The family, made up of Nina, 48, and Phil, 55, their two children Emily and Terry and Terry's partner Carrie and their kids, aged four and one, are now facing a 'lengthy stay' in rented accommodation.

The fire on Friday morning (January 22), started in the loft while gran Nina was in the bathroom cleaning, 'totally unaware' that a blaze was raging overhead.

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Left: Nina and Phil Howard and, right, some photos of the house fire

Fortunately, a heroic neighbour spotted the smoke and the flames and alerted the family.

The family is still trying to determine the exact cause of the fire but they are sure it was an electrical fire.

Nina told the Yorkshire Evening Post that if the family had a smoke detector in the loft, the fire might have been caught sooner - and has urged other families to get one installed in their loft spaces or attics.

Friend of the family Lauren Sherwood-Nichol set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe with another friend Becky Patton.

Fire crews at the house in Seacroft

Lauren said: "A wonderful family of 7 suffered the devastating effects of a house fire yesterday in East Leeds.

"Their family home has been gutted.

The fire started in the loft, where exactly in the loft they are still trying to determine but it was electrical they know that for sure. Nina was in the bathroom upstairs and carry was cleaning upstairs and were totally unaware that there was a raging fire upstairs, it was a neighbour who alerted them of the fire.

"It’s pretty much all destroyed. If it’s not fire damaged it’s smoulder/melted/smoke/water damaged. They’ve managed to salvage a few items from the living room and that’s about it."

Nina and Phil Howard and their children and grandchildren have lost everything in a house fire

Lauren added that a smoke detector in the loft might have helped because the one on their landing ceiling, next to the loft hatch, did not trigger until the ceiling began to fall down.

Anyone who can help the family is being asked to donate, as well as help with nappies for the grandkids, clothes, toys, food and furniture as well as accommodation.

Lauren added: "With what looks to be a lengthy stay in rented accommodation while their house is rebuilt and repaired we cannot imagine what they must be going through right now other than relief they are all safe and well.

"Family, friends and fellow colleagues of the family have been asking if they can help in anyway with anything from nappies, bottles, clothes, toys, food, furniture, accommodation etc, so we have decided to set up this page.

"This isn’t to replace the memories they have lost but to go towards making new memories to last a lifetime.

"If you are able/willing/wanting to donate, however large or small please do!"