Totton residents speak of grief as fire destroys prized gardens and possessions

The fire ripped through seven gardens in Totton

The fire ripped through seven gardens in Totton

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

IT WAS her pride and joy.

But within minutes of a blaze starting, the garden Jill Jordan had lovingly tended for 55 years went up in flames.

The blaze happened in the back garden of a house in Totton where residents had been gardening and then set light to the debris.

But the flames licked fence panels and quickly turned into an inferno that put a whole neighbourhood at risk and forced locals to flee their homes.

Daily Echo:

Jill Jordan in her garden that was devastated by the blaze - including the 'lad pad'

Following the fire, only Jill's two gnomes - named Dick and Dom - remained unscathed, with plants, sheds and ornaments reduced to cinders.

The “lad pad” built by her three sons earlier this year to watch the World Cup and fitted out with a new TV and fridge, was also completely destroyed.

The 79-year-old, who cares for husband Len who suffers from dementia, had alerted the emergency services to the impending fire having already asked her neighbour to put the bonfire out.

She said: “I realised something was going to happen, the smell was terrible.

“So I decided to get my husband out of the house and call the fire service.”

She said she was reduced to tears by the extent of the damage, saying: “It's devastating. The damage is just horrific.

“There's got to be thousands of pounds worth of damage. This garden was my life's work and it's gone up in flames."

Daily Echo:

The 'lad pad' was specially built for the World Cup

Dozens of firefighters and police were called into action as a major operation got underway to stop the raging fire from spreading any further.

And there were tears as the enormity of the blaze was laid bare, with shed razed to the ground, conservatries damaged, gardens burnt out and windows of several homes shattered by the heat.

Another neighbour Julie Collins had been sunbathing in her back garden in Bishops Close which backs onto gardens in Northlands Road when the fire happened at 5.30pm on Tuesday.

The 41-year-old, who was home with her three-year-old daughter Leyla, said: “I heard the crackle of the fire, and the first thing I thought was that it was too early to light one.”

But within minutes mum of three Mrs Collins realised something was wrong as she saw flames lapping over the tops of the fences and sheds.

She continued: “I went upstairs and could see the man coming down with a bucket of water, but it wasn't going to stop it but then as it had really took hold.

“At that point I didn't think it would get to us, but with the heat and wind the flames just went along the fences.”

Daily Echo:

Mrs Collins described how she rushed outside to rescue the family's pet rabbits, which were in a hutch in the back garden before fleeing her home.

She added: “The patio doors were getting hot, and when I went out the heat was intense.
“When I picked my rabbits up they were hot - if I had left them there they would have cooked.”

  • WITH THE hot weather predicted to continue throughout much of the next week, Hampshire Fire and Rescue has issued a warning to residents about lighting bonfires.

A spokesman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's Community Safety team said: “We are currently experiencing extremely hot, summer conditions meaning that grass, fences and the like are all very dry at the moment.

“We recommend that people avoid having bonfires wherever possible, as a small fire can easily spread and become a much larger incident.”

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:40am Thu 31 Jul 14

Solent Soul says...

I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism!
I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism! Solent Soul
  • Score: 2

7:40am Thu 31 Jul 14

mickey01 says...

Solent Soul wrote:
I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism!
When they go to close totton station to save money this is one of the stories that will back the closure up and prove that it wasn't required in this instance.then the station will be protesting that it is needed
[quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism![/p][/quote]When they go to close totton station to save money this is one of the stories that will back the closure up and prove that it wasn't required in this instance.then the station will be protesting that it is needed mickey01
  • Score: 2

7:52am Thu 31 Jul 14

andyfidler1966 says...

D'ya reckon that the Cotton units might have already been deployed to the major incident at Hythe?
D'ya reckon that the Cotton units might have already been deployed to the major incident at Hythe? andyfidler1966
  • Score: 2

7:53am Thu 31 Jul 14

andyfidler1966 says...

I mean 'Totton' of course...
I mean 'Totton' of course... andyfidler1966
  • Score: 1

9:05am Thu 31 Jul 14

KA says...

So who pays for the damage then?
So who pays for the damage then? KA
  • Score: 2

1:42pm Thu 31 Jul 14

BerryMan says...

Solent Soul wrote:
I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism!
It is a retained station. Maybe they were busy doing their real job? Retained crews aren't always available for calls.
[quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism![/p][/quote]It is a retained station. Maybe they were busy doing their real job? Retained crews aren't always available for calls. BerryMan
  • Score: 2

12:33am Fri 1 Aug 14

Solent Soul says...

BerryMan wrote:
Solent Soul wrote:
I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism!
It is a retained station. Maybe they were busy doing their real job? Retained crews aren't always available for calls.
Just had some inside information passed my way, they could not crew the totton appliance for that fire.. Yes it's a part time station & they have other jobs but this fire was in the early evening was it not? Luckily we still have full time stations in the city if all else fails..
[quote][p][bold]BerryMan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Solent Soul[/bold] wrote: I was interested to read in an earlier article that a fire appliance never attended from totton fire station, only resources from Southampton? That was a bit strange considering every second counts & all that? Well done to all that did attend this fire though, the outcome could have been a lot more serious if it wasn't for their professionalism![/p][/quote]It is a retained station. Maybe they were busy doing their real job? Retained crews aren't always available for calls.[/p][/quote]Just had some inside information passed my way, they could not crew the totton appliance for that fire.. Yes it's a part time station & they have other jobs but this fire was in the early evening was it not? Luckily we still have full time stations in the city if all else fails.. Solent Soul
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree