House blaze family tell of devastation as two homes in Shelton are destroyed

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Relatives of the two families caught up in Sunday’s house fires in Shelton have expressed feelings of both devastation and relief after it was revealed that faulty electrical wiring was to blame.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have closed the case on the fire that destroyed two family homes after confirming that it was caused by an electrical wiring fault.

But resident Azeem, 31, spoke of his relief that the disaster was not much worse.

He said: “We’re just glad that no lives have been lost because lives are irreplaceable, whereas with bricks and mortar you can just start over again.

“Hopefully we will be able to get back inside sometime today. We just feel for all the photo memories and the sentimental things that have been lost.

“We don’t know the true extent of the damage. Things can be replaced can’t they when push comes to shove?”

Azeem declined to give his full name as owners of the houses have not yet been able to see the destruction.

The blaze quickly spread from one terrace house in Rectory Road to an adjoining property on the corner of Clarke Street.

Fire crews from Newcastle, Biddulph, Longton and Burslem battled to prevent it spreading further down the row of terrace houses.

Rectory Road is still closed as the houses have not yet been confirmed safe from collapsing.

Amid the uncertainty of when they will be allowed to re-enter their home, Azeem expressed his family’s gratitude towards the community of Shelton which rallied around to comfort the victims, offering food, drink and accommodation.

“The community is not really spoken very highly about. You hear a lot of horror stories in regard to crime, but yesterday the community was glowing,” said Azeem.

“It was amazing to see everyone united and coming together from different backgrounds, it was very comforting.

“Regardless of what people say, time and time again the community comes together when someone is facing a crisis.”

Just after the cause of the fire was established, a nearby resident expressed concerns over outdated electrical wiring systems running throughout properties on Rectory Road.

“I’ve been told it [the fire]was due to faulty electrics, some of these houses are well over a hundred years old. They belonged to the old master potters,” said one resident, who requested anonymity. 

“When the houses were first built, they didn’t have electrics. Then when they were fitted the safety tests weren’t as rigorous as they are today.”

Staffordshire Police, who also attended the incident, have made a statement to confirm the fire is believed to have started accidentally.

Rectory Road is still closed as the buildings are condoned off until they are deemed safe and secure amid fears the buildings may collapse.

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