A RETIRED couple returned to their bungalow in Dore from a night out to find firefighters tackling flames and thick black smoke.
The blaze tore through David and Elaine Nicholls’ property in Drury Lane and killed their pet dog.
They came home from a local pub quiz at around 11.30pm on Monday to find crews tackling the fire, which started in the kitchen at the back of the house and spread to the dining room, hall and roof.
Mrs Nicholls said: “There was lots of thick black smoke and we could see the flames coming out of the back of the house. It was very intense.
“The kitchen is completely destroyed and so is the rest of the back of the house.”
The couple, who are both in their 60s, said they are devastated at the loss of their terrier, Ziggy.
Mr Nicholls said: “He was 10 years old, he was a rescue dog. We are stunned about it all really.”
The couple, who have two grown-up children, have been staying with relatives since the blaze.
Firefighters said thick black smoke was billowing out of the cracked windows and had spread to nearby streets.
Crew manager Lee Jones, of Lowedges fire station, said: “When we turned on to Church Street there was lots of smoke so we knew we were dealing with something serious, and as we pulled on to Drury Lane residents were out on the street and flagging us down.
“They said they thought the occupants were out but, as there was still a car on the driveway, we had to treat it as a search and rescue and had six firefighters inside.
“Fortunately, the occupants turned up while we were there. They were panicking about their dog and, although we got him out and tried to revive him with CPR, he couldn’t be saved.
“The fire was raging when we got there and was already in the kitchen, dining room and hall when we arrived – they were all severely damaged – and it then broke through the windows and got into the roof.”
An investigation into the cause of the blaze has determined it was caused by an electrical fault involving the cooker.