A FAMILY had a lucky escape after fire raged through an outhouse and threatened to spread to the main home.
The annexe was gutted in the blaze, but owner Darren Carr said total devastation was avoided thanks to a special fire door that kept the flames out of the living area.
Now the father-of-one has joined Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in urging all homeowners to have the heat-resistant doors fitted.
Mr Carr, of Old Moss Lane, Tarvin, near Chester, said: “I can’t believe how effective the fire door was at containing the heat. The garage is completely destroyed but there was no damage to the summer house. It will just need redecorating.
“I hope our case shows people just how effective fire doors are.”
Firefighters took about two hours to bring the fire under control after being called to the scene at about 10am on Sunday.
They initially tackled the blaze from inside wearing breathing apparatus, but soon had to withdraw as it was feared the building could collapse.
The lower part of the living quarters was saved due to the fire door which was fitted between the garage and sun room.
Mr Carr, who was home at the time with his wife, daughter and two dogs, said: “We were just about to go out into Chester and it is so lucky we were home to raise the alarm.
“I dread to think what would have happened if we had not been there.
“My wife saw the smoke coming out of the garage and we initially tried to put it out ourselves but within seconds it took hold and was too strong.”
Keith Brooks, head of prevention and protection at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This case is a perfect example of how important fire doors are when a fire breaks out both in the home and the workplace. They play a critical element in saving lives and property and should never be propped open.
“We would advise people to also get into the habit of closing all doors as a matter of course to prevent fire spreading and at the first sign of fire get out and call 999.”