WHEN Carlton couple Sidney and Teresa Warden went to bed one February evening, they had no idea how their lives would suddenly change overnight.
The couple, of Arundel Drive, were sleeping soundly when they awoke to find their bedroom engulfed in flames in the early hours of 28th Feburary.
Luckily Sidney, 80, and wife Teresa, 71, managed to escape relatively unharmed but had to watch their cherished family home of 38 years go up in smoke.
Said Sidney: “It was absolutely devastating for us both. The thing that is so hard to take is that we lost all photos of our children and souvenirs of places we had been - we’ll never get those back.”
When the couple awoke to see the fire, Sidney managed to pull down the curtains before the flames took hold - giving Teresa chance to get out.
His wife had a stroke 20 years ago and is paralysed down her right side, but she managed to make her way safely down the stairs.
Her wheelchair was in the boot of the car which was on the drive but undamaged, but her mobility scooter was in the garage and was crushed by a falling beam.
Fire crews attended the scene within 10 minutes and alerted their daughter Ann Pullen, who lives on Richmond Road, to what had happened.
The couple have since moved in with their daughter Ann and are now waiting for their home to be re-built, which might not be completed until April next year.
Sidney, a former education lecturer at North Notts College, said it had been an emotional struggle but help from family is getting them through.
“We lost everything in the fire, from personal photos and clothes to all our insurance documents,” he said.
“Thankfully our daughter has been wonderful in helping us to sort out the paperwork, and our son has let me take my pick from his wardrobe.”
Fire investigations revealed the fire had started from an electrical wiring fault related to the couple’s electric blanket, although the blanket itself was switched off the time.
A fire spokesman said: “This is an important reminder to make sure you complete a night-time routine before going to bed, ensuring all electric equipment where possible is unplugged and doors are shut. It is also important to have smoke alarms on each level of the property and to check them regularly.”