The family’s home destroyed by a blaze which started in one of the bedrooms. Pictures: Christie Chapman.

A family of four was left with nothing “but the clothes on their backs” when fire ripped through their home.

Retired couple Dave and Bet Beattie, and their son and daughter, both in their 20s, escaped from their house in Bagge Road, Gaywood, after the blaze broke out in one of the bedrooms.

Close family friend, Christie Chapman, received a phone call at around 8pm on Saturday and dashed from her North Lynn home to the scene.

Five fire crews from King’s Lynn and Sandringham were battling the blaze.

Mrs Chapman said: “When I got there, the road had been fenced off, the fire brigade were there, it was crazy. I thought the worst.”

The family’s home destroyed by a blaze which started in one of the bedrooms. Pictures: Christie Chapman.

Mum-of-four Mrs Chapman was relived to find the family had been taken in by a neighbour.

“They have lost everything, they didn’t even have shoes on, just the clothes on their backs. It was a nasty shock for them, they are very emotional. Bet keeps breaking down,” she said.

The blaze started after an extension lead caught alight in the bedroom of the couple’s daughter, Katie.

“The alarms went off. Dave tried to fight it with buckets of water, but once the fire had got hold of the mattress that was it, they had to get out,” said Mrs Chapman.

Mr Beattie and son Samuel were taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a check up after inhaling smoke.

The family are staying with their eldest daughter and her family until they can find somewhere to live.

Neighbours on both sides were evacuated and one of them has since been able to return home, but the other, who lives in the adjoining side, was staying with relatives.

On Sunday morning, Mrs Chapman returned to the scene and saw flames had destroyed the upstairs.

“You could see the sky through the roof,” she said. 

The downstairs had been left badly water damaged from where firefighters had tackled the fire until around 11pm the night before.

After realising the family’s home had been gutted, Mrs Chapman launched an online fundraising page to help get them back on their feet.

And residents immediately rallied with donations of clothes, shoes and furniture.

“I quickly had two car loads to take to them,” said Mrs Chapman. “We want to thank everyone who has helped. They say we don’t have much of a community these days, but when something like this happens, you realise there is – the community has been fantastic.

“There are no words to describe how grateful the family and I are.”

Although the family now has enough clothes, financial donations can still be made.

Visit the Angels of King’s Lynn Facebook page or go to and search for Terrible House Fire.