Family pet woke up mum and daughter before fire alarms kicked in

Houses at Askern Road in Toll Bar which were badly damaged by fire overnight
Houses at Askern Road in Toll Bar which were badly damaged by fire overnight
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He’s a furry, four-legged hero!

Billy the Jack Russell cross has been credited with saving a mum and daughter from a fire that wrecked their family home in Toll Bar, Doncaster.

Amy Hayton, aged 21, and eight-month-old Paige Drinkwater were fast asleep when their home on Askern Road caught light in the early hours of Friday morning.

Billy started jumping up and barking at the window, then leapt onto the bed where Amy had been fast asleep.

The smoke alarm at their home did not sound until after the fire brigade had arrived.

Amy, who lives with Paige, partner Adam Drinkwater, 24 and family friend Chris Clark, said: “I think at first I told Billy to shut up. But he jumped up on the bed and was barking on the bed. That is when I realised something was wrong.

“It was the best £90 we ever spent when we bought Billy. We had been fast asleep.”

Adam, who was out with Chris at the time, said: “If Billy hadn’t woken them up and they had not got out it could have been a different story.

“As far as we are concerned, Billy can do whatever he wants now, and he will be spoilt rotten. He has earned the key to the house!”

The family have been temporarily rehoused but are keen to be moved to somewhere more suitable. They are not happy with their current accommodation which has no carpets.

It is not known when they are likely to be able to move back to their house, which was severely damaged in the blaze.

So was the house next door, which was occupied by three adults and a child.

Adam said they are keen to remain in Toll Bar because of the support they have had from the community.

The blaze is believed to have started when a fence caught light, with the flames spreading to the roof.

Adam is concerned that foam which filled a gap between the two houses caught fire. He is calling on St Leger Homes to take action.

Susan Jordan, chief executive of St Leger Homes of Doncaster, said: “Investigations have been carried out by the emergency services and as always we have been offering as much support as possible. We will work with the fire service on any findings that come out of their enquiries.”