A Jewish family of 12 escaped unharmed from a fire which destroyed the upper floor of their home on the same night their daughter became engaged.
Late last week children were rushed out of the house on Northumberland Street, Salford, as the family, preparing to have friends over to celebrate, found the fire raging. It is understood that the top floor of the three-storey house was undergoing renovations and the smoke alarms had been disconnected.
Fifteen fire fighters arrived within minutes finding the family outside in the street. A neighbour, whose house overlooks the property, said at around 10:30pm her children came running to tell her they had seen a fire from their bedroom window.
"I looked out of the window and I could see smoke just billowing out of the loft and the roof. It was really a miracle that no one was hurt in a fire like that," she said.
One member of the family, who asked not to be identified, said: "Thank God everyone was okay. It didn't spoil the family celebrations which were moved to a friend's home. But we are not able to live in the house at the moment."
It took three hours to extinguish the blaze and make safety checks. Broughton fire station watch commander, Chris Rainford, said the family was fortunate not to have suffered smoke inhalation. But he said that if the fire had broken out on a lower floor the consequences would have been "horrendous.
"The smoke detectors, installed by the fire brigade, had been removed for decorating the house. The message from this story is not to remove smoke detectors even for one night, especially if there are children in a house," he said.
Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing, but is thought to have originated within the house and is not suspicious.