A fire which ripped through a home and killed a beloved family dog may have been started by fairy lights, it has been claimed.
The horrific blaze completely destroyed the home of Jamie Carter, his partner Leona Greenfield and son Kaimen Hunter who "lost everything," a close friend of the family said.
The terrified family managed to escape the fire as it broke out at their house in Church Hill, Redditch.
But the "timid" little dog, which they had only had for a week, was unable to escape the flames and perished in the blaze.
Family friend Charlotte Paris said investigators are probing how the fire started while it is suspected fairy lights left on all night could have been to blame.
Ms Paris has launched a GoFundMe appeal to raise money for the family, who have been left with "only the clothes they stood up in".
Emergency services raced to the terraced house in Edgeworth Close just after 7am on Monday (November 23), reports Birmingham Mail.
Charlotte said: "I was talking to the firefighters yesterday and they told me it could have been Christmas lights which started it.
"They (the family) were only alerted to the fire because Leona and Jamie was asleep upstairs and Kaimen was downstairs on the sofa and awoken by the fire.
"None of the smoke detectors went off and if Kaimen hadn't been downstairs, by the time they knew about the fire it would have been too late and they'd have been overcome by the smoke.
"Luckily, Leona's 12-year-old daughter wasn't there and was at a friend's.
"They all managed to get out, but their dog tragically died. They'd only had him a week and he was still very timid and even though they tried calling him, we think he went and hid in a cupboard and wouldn't come out."
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Leona, aged 41, who works for the NHS, Jamie, 37, who works at a cabling company, and builder Kaimen, aged 18, were all taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
Because their privately-rented house was completely destroyed by the blaze, they are currently staying in a hotel and will then be given temporary housing by Redditch Council.
Charlotte said: "The fire burnt everything: all their clothes, furniture, possessions everything. They've literally only got the clothes they are standing up in.
"I wanted to start an appeal to help them. So far people have been incredible. We've had over £3,000 in cash donated and boxes and boxes of clothes, shoes, furniture – everything.
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"Everyone's been so generous, the family can't thank them enough."
A spokesman for Hereford and Worcester Fire Service said six fire engines were sent to the scene and six firefighters in breathing apparatus tackled it.
He said he couldn't comment on what caused it until the full investigation had been completed.
"A fire inspection has been carried out, but results have not yet been received," he said.
To donate to the family, visit the GoFundMe page.
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