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Disabled woman moved to Travelodge after home catches fire

Alexis and Finley, from Alsager and fire damage of their home
Alexis and Finley, from Alsager and fire damage of their home Image credit: cheshire-live.co.uk

A disabled woman was moved to a Travelodge after she found out her home in Liverpool had burnt down.

When Alexis O’Sullivan, 41, received a text from a neighbour asking if everything was okay on Saturday May 29 she was confused.

Everything seemed fine, Alexis was on a training event with her assistance dog Finley in Alsager, Cheshire– but just seconds after reading the message she found out her house in was on fire.

Her neighbour told Alexis the news before offering to go round to check how much damage the blaze had caused.

Alexis told Cheshire Live: "I was out of the house, thank God, with my dog who is in training to be a registered assistance dog.

"I broke my back and am currently disabled, so we were with the trainer on the Saturday morning.

"My next door neighbour messaged me to say 'your smoke alarm is going off, is everything OK?'

"I think she was more worried that I was cooking and I had fallen, and so to get that text message it was like 'oh my god'.

"So I text back saying I was sat in Costa with Finley doing a dog training session.

"So my lovely neighbour said I'll pop round to see if everything is alright.

"Me and her have a bungalow, but the walls are so thin you can hear your next door neighbour sneezing.

"About 30 seconds later I got a phone call to say your house is full of smoke there is a fire and phoned the fire brigade.

"I screamed in the middle of Costa 'my house is on fire', my dog trainer bundled Finley into the car and raced me home."

The distressed home owner was shocked when she saw two fire engines with their sirens on driving towards the burning building.

O’Sullivan, who became disabled after breaking her back, added: "As we were coming out of Costa we saw fire engines go past and I knew they were going to my house.

"We got home and the fire service had to batter ram my door in and the house was full of smoke, the fire started in the kitchen and they sorted everything out.

"The cause of the fire was an electrical fault with the cooker.

"The kitchen is absolutely gutted and the problem is because my bungalow is a small one the smoke has obviously rose right through the property.

"So the property is badly smoke damaged."

Alsager and her dog Finley were put into temporary accommodation at the Travelodge in Crewe until it is safe to return to her house, but it is too far from home.

She said: "It is really horrible, I am not from Alsager, I am from Liverpool originally, so I am on my own.

"I feel a bit alone because I am not from here. It hits home how homesick you feel.

"Thank God I had my assistance dog in training with me, Finley, if he wasn't there - well it doesn't bear thinking about."

Alexis went on to thank an animal store who gave her free items for Finley which had been lost in the fire.

She said: "The manager was amazing in Pets at Home in Crewe. He said 'let’s just grab a trolley, what do you need'.

"All of Finley's toys and bedding and food was destroyed in the fire so they replaced a few things

"I wanted to say a large thank you and they were so lovely in such a horrendous time."

A spokersperson for Cheshire Fire and Rescue said: "Shortly before 1pm firefighters received a report of a smoke alarm sounding at a bungalow on Linley Road in Alsager.

"A fire involving a cooker in the kitchen had activated the alarm and no-one was unaccounted for.

"Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the bungalow.

"The fire was extinguished with water and the cooker was taken to a safe place outside.

"A covering jet was utilised. Firefighters also used a large fan to clear smoke from the bungalow and a thermal imaging camera to monitor temperatures.

"They left the address once they were satisfied that it was safe. Firefighters were in attendance for more than three hours.

"No-one was injured as a result of the fire."

One of Alexis’ friends has launched a GoFundMe page to help restore valuable items lost in the blaze.