Family-of-seven lost everything in blaze which left boy badly injured
A GRANDFATHER whose family lost all their possessions during a house fire in which his grandson was seriously injured has made a heartfelt appeal for donations.
Paul Tree, 58, says the family- of-seven lost everything they owned in the blaze which ripped through their rented terraced house in Kingswood and critically injured his three- year-old grandson Harry.
As the contents of the house were uninsured, Mr Tree says the family is now in desperate need of essential items for the children including children's bedding and clothing.
Mr Tree, a truck driver from Yate, said Harry remained on a life support machine at Frenchay Hospital yesterday with his parents at his bedside following the fire in Lodge Hill in the early hours of Saturday morning.
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He said the toddler suffered 55 per cent burns and underwent a five-hour operation at the hospital, which has a specialist burns unit.
Mr Tree said: "Both of his parents are there with him. He woke up momentarily on Sunday and he recognised his dad's voice. He had a five-hour operation and there's no doubt he will have to have more.
"He is laid there and being fed intravenously because his throat is burnt and swollen. He has burns from the waist up. It's a difficult time."
Mr Tree, who is married to Christine, heaped praise on the doctors and nurses who have been caring for his grandson.
He said: "Everyone knocks the NHS but all we can do is applaud them for the compassion they have shown – they have gone over and above the call of duty."
Mr Tree's stepson John, his wife and their five children, including Harry and a baby, were in the house along with a babysitter when the fire broke out at 6.40am on Saturday.
Suffering from burns and smoke inhalation, they were all taken to hospital by four ambulances.
One neighbour, Lionel Fear, who described the fire as a "roaring inferno", climbed up a ladder at the back of the property and helped to pass the baby down to safety.
The blaze, which caused extensive damage to the ground floor of the house, is being investigated but is not thought to have been suspicious.
Lodge Hill was cordoned off at either end while fire investigators and police sent teams into the blackened house, which was missing its front window.
Mr Tree said his stepson John had been alerted to the fire after he had woken up to his baby crying. Having rushed downstairs to fetch a fire extinguisher, he returned to find the blaze taking hold of the front room.
After calling for help, neighbours used a ladder to rescue some of his children from the roof, Mr Tree said. When he realised his son was missing, John smashed his way through his front downstairs window – causing himself cuts and burns – and rescued Harry after finding him crouched between two sofas in the sitting room.
Mr Tree said if had not been for the neighbours joining the rescue effort, things could have been far worse. One female neighbour was left with burns and blisters on her arm after a window blew out during the rescue.
Of the appeal for donations, Mr Tree said: "All the possessions sadly had no insurance and the only clothes they had on the day of the fire were the ones given to them by neighbours. The family needs a baby's cot, clothes, bedding, toys, games, crayons, everything really."
Donations can be made by calling Mr Tree on 01454 321566.