Dec 5 2012 by Zoe Drewett
A ROOF fire has badly damaged a family home in Ruislip just weeks before Christmas.
Ashley and Vincent Gaches live at 39 Eastcote Road with their two daughters Holly and Isobelle. They were not at home when the front gable end of their roof set on fire.
Speaking to the Gazette, Mrs Gaches said: "It's a nightmare, and just before Christmas.
"Thankfully our neighbour saw the smoke and called the fire brigade."
The cause of the fire was a security light attached to the wooden front of the roof. Despite the light not being in use, it had been left on with a charge in it, and being attached to wood, it set alight.
The fire did not spread to the rest of the house, and on Wednesday Mr and Mrs Gaches were waiting to hear about the extent of the fire and smoke damage to their loft.
Geoff Toye was visiting Ruislip on Tuesday when at around 2pm he noticed the house was on fire.
He said: "The first fire engine arrived as we were walking towards the house; flames were coming through and around a floodlight fixed in the lower centre of the timbered front gable.
"The firemen directed the fire engine's on-board hose on to the flames coming from around the floodlight and doused them; at the same time the water pressure knocked the floodlight off its fixing, and left it dangling by its wire.
"Smoke and steam were still issuing through the roof tiles, but no more flames were seen."
Firefighters were forced to break in through the back door of the house to attend to the fire inside the loft space, where they say there was a lot of damage.
A spokesman said: "The fire crews did extremely well."They were at the house for two to three hours. The loft space had to be cleared to make sure there were no more pockets of smoke."
He added that the cause of the house fire was not common.
Read the Gazette on Wednesday next week to hear the full interview with the Gaches family.