A resident who was ordered to leave her Buxton home in the early hours of the morning after a fire broke out in a neighbouring property said the whole incident had been “a surreal experience”.
Jo Charles, of Hardwick Square North, was among 21 people forced to leave their homes after the house on Hardwick Mount caught fire.
She said: “When we left we walked past the fire and it was a phenomenal blaze. There was bright red flames coming out of the roof.
“The windows had blown out on the top floor and the flames were so high.”
Emergency services were called to the property at 9.10pm on Tuesday, however Jo did not go out until just after 11pm to have a look.
She said: “There was lots of smoke and so many emergency services in the street.” Four fire engines and two aerial platforms were sent to the scene. At the height of the incident, 30 firefighters from Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Whaley Bridge, Bakewell and Chesterfield were in attendance.
Jo described how, at around 4am on Wednesday morning, she heard a banging at the back of her home and a fire officer was telling her to get up and leave.
The 66-year-old said: “It felt surreal. It all happened very quickly.
“I was half dressed and went outside to wake my neighbours who have a little baby, and when the firemen came to the front I left him banging on their door and I went to get changed.” The evacuees were taken to Buxton police station and Jo, who lives with her son Tom Carter, said it was a strange experience.
She said: “We all felt a bit like refugees. We couldn’t go anywhere until we told the police so they knew we were safe, but there wasn’t many places we could go at that time so we were just hanging around.” No-one has been hurt in the fire. An investigation into the cause is being led jointly by the police and fire service.
Four people have been temporarily re-housed at Queen’s Court, and as of this afternoon (Wednesday) Jo said she did not know when she would be allowed back home.