Five people including three children were taken to hospital following a ‘devastating’ fire at a home in Seaton Carew in the early hours of yesterday morning.
A man, woman and three children were taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering from the affects of smoke inhalation.
The fire broke out in a home in Berwick Street, Seaton Carew, in the early hours of Boxing Day morning.
Neighbour Margaret Cass was awoken by a the sound of screaming.
The 51-year-old said: “I heard what I thought were some kids out the back, then my doorbell went and I heard a child screaming and crying.
“I opened the door and she just fell in my arms she said ‘my house is on fire’.
“It was at 5.20am this morning, I had them straight in here and the paramedics treated them here before they were taken to hospital.”
She added: “It’s just horrible, devastating – at this time of year as well.
“I’ve been inside the house and it was all fully smoke-damaged.
“It’s just been Christmas and all of their toys and everything is damaged.”
Mrs Cass, who has two grandchildren, says one of the family’s cats died in the fire.
A fire investigation team was at the scene yesterday to investigate the cause of the devastating blaze.
The kitchen of the house was gutted by fire and heat, with both floors of the property left damaged by smoke.
Cleveland Fire Brigade say they were called to Berwick Street, Seaton Carew, at 5.24am to a report of a house fire and sent two of its appliances from Stranton Fire Station to the scene.
Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were sent in to put out the fire using a hose reel.
The team then used a fan to clear the house of fumes.
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 5.34am from the fire brigade to attend a house fire in Berwick Street, Seaton Carew.
“We sent two ambulances and took five patients to James Cook University Hospital.”