Betley Court fire: Residents have 'lost everything'

Written by 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


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