Betley Court fire: Residents have 'lost everything'
Written by The Newsroom on August 29, 2019
Residents of apartments at a converted 18th century manor house say they have lost everything in a fire which engulfed the building.
They have been staying with friends and neighbours since the blaze gutted grade II-listed Betley Court Manor in Staffordshire last Friday.
About 20 people lived in the flats, including Jill Sutton who said: “Basically, my world has gone.”
The fire service said the blaze started accidentally during work to the roof.
Mrs Sutton, who had lived at the site for just over a year, said: “My treasured memories, my life with my husband who had passed away, all those memories and belongings – the only things I’d got left is what I was stood up in.
“When I saw [the damage], I was screaming, I was crying. The devastation of the building and how much damage the fire had caused – I was in total shock.”
About 40 firefighters tackled the flames at their peak, with all residents accounted for.
Among them was heavily-pregnant Sophie Thompson-Hyland. She said all baby items she had been collecting were “black and not redeemable”.
But she said support from the local community had been “overwhelming”.
Villager Neil Bullock said: “You want to do what you can to help and opening your house and making a bed available to somebody who has lost theirs is a very small thing to do.”
A fire service spokesperson said: “The fire at Betley court was caused accidentally by hot works that were being carried out in the roof space.”
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Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire