A grandmother has been left homeless after an explosion caused by a lamp catching fire destroyed her home.
The blaze ripped through newly-renovated house belonging to Sheila Rigby and her partner in Rainford, Merseyside.
The 63-year-old – who suffered a brain aneurysm 18 months ago – was celebrating finishing renovations on the home she has lived in for almost 30 years when the devastating fire took hold on November 4.
It ruined everything she owned including Christmas presents she had already bought for her six grandchildren.
She told the Liverpool Echo that she and her son Sam, 32, had initially ignored her fire alarm as it was incredibly sensitive.
Sam went to check what was causing the alarm to go off and was met with a wall of flames when he opened Ms Rigby’s bedroom door.
He managed to get his parents out of the house seconds before an explosion blew the bedroom door off its hinges and shattered all the windows in the hourse.
‘If he had still been standing in front of the stairs, he would be dead,’ Ms Rigby said.
Sam’s partner Emma Stuart – who has taken Ms Rigby and her partner in – set up a JustGiving page to help get them back on their feet.
Miss Stuart, 30, said: ‘It is still early days between Sam and I but I took the family in because they just couldn’t stay at home and they have nothing.
‘Sheila now wakes up having nightmares, screaming and thinking she is in the fire.’
Ms Rigby, a former breast cancer sufferer, said her neighbours have been a brilliant help and, when one of her poodles ran in fright from the scene, ’40 people from the area went looking for her until 4am the following morning and rescued her nearby’.
Off-duty fireman Paul Rose just happened to be walking past at the time and ran in to help.
‘The off-duty fireman was also absolutely brilliant and Emma has been amazing – if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would have done,’ she said.
The family are appealing to anyone who can help donate money for them to replace their clothes, bed, sofa and white goods for the day they move back in in February.
The housing association is repairing the damage but any contents inside the home and decoration, which Miss Stuart says the family did not have ‘extensive enough insurance to cover for’ will have to be replaced.
The JustGiving page can be found by clicking here.