5pm: Five people escaped from a fire that wrecked a family home at Stickney today and claimed the lives of many of their pets.
Teenagers James (16) and Joseph Barham (14), their pals Matthew Waite (17), from Helpringham, and Jordan Corcoran (21), from Birmingham, and their 71-year-old gran Josephine Butcher were unhurt after fire started in a snake vivarium.
The vivarium was in James’s bedroom and he alerted the family as smoke began to fill his room.
He phoned his mum, Sharron Butcher (47), who was sleeping in a caravan in the grounds.
Sharron said: “I literally threw my dressing gown on and ran over to the house, by which time the fire had taken hold.
“I got my mum (Josephine) out and her oxygen cylinders – my mum’s oxygen dependant.”
Sharron was still in her dressing gown this afternoon as firemen continued damping down all that remains of the family’s fire-wrecked home and said they didn’t yet know where they were sleeping tonight.
Matthew said everyone in the house could have died but for James waking and raising the alarm.
At the height of the fire, there were more than 30 firefighters and seven fire engines at the scene along with a water carrier, which was filling up in the centre of Stickney and ferrying water to the scene.
The A16 was closed for much of the day.
Many of the pets in the house perished, but 14 dogs, a cat, two tarantulas and a fish were rescued.
Friends of the family took in the dogs.
The snake whose vivarium caught fire was badly burned but a vet’s at Sutterton stepped in to treat him free of charge.
• Sharron’s sons and their pals are in up and coming bands and most of their instruments were destroyed in the blaze, including a £30,000 Gibson guitar.
The bandmates are hoping music fans will step in and donate some instruments so they can continue with their gigs.
Update: The RSPCA has issued its latest update on the house fire in Stickney, revealing one of the missing cats has been found alive.
The search continues for the other two cats and eight kittens.
A further seven snakes, and one lizard perished in the fire, the spokesman confirmed.
“The total tally of surviving animals is at present - seven snakes, two spiders, one cat and 14 dogs,” they added.
The fire service has also recently confirmed four people were treated for smoke inhalation in the incident.
11:30am: More than 30 animals are thought to have been involved in a house fire in Stickney this morning (Wednesday), with some feared dead.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were alerted to the outbreak at the detached property in Main Road just after 7am.
The RSPCA were also called to the scene.
A spokesman for the charity said: “The property contained nine snakes, two spiders, 14 dogs, three adult cats and eight kittens - who were only a few weeks old. Sadly, it is suspected that the cats and kittens perished in the fire, although we are still waiting for confirmation from the fire service.
“The family and the other animals were largely unharmed, despite their ordeal.
“One snake required veterinary treatment but the other animals were given a clean bill of health after being checked over by the RSPCA.
“Arrangements have been made for the care of the animals, and the search continues for any surviving cats and kittens.”
Earlier, a spokesman for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said crews rescued 12 dogs from scene, including two puppies which had to be treated for smoke inhalation.
At one time seven pumps were at the scene, but as of about 9.40am that number had been reduced to five.
It also lead to the A16 being closed.