Villagers’ shock at Barrow house blaze tragedy

Rear of house fire at Whalley Road, Barrow, opposite Clitheroe Golf Club, on March 3rd 2015

Rear of house fire at Whalley Road, Barrow, opposite Clitheroe Golf Club, on March 3rd 2015

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Villagers have today spoken of their shock after a woman died after a ferocious fire tore through her detached home in Barrow.

Police and fire crews from Clitheroe, Hyndburn, Padiham and Great Harwood were called to Barrow Gardens Farm, in Whalley Road, at 5-20 am on Tuesday after reports of a “severe” blaze.

An elderly man, who managed to escape the house, was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. His wife, who is believed to be called “Nellie” and was aged 84, remained trapped inside.

On arrival, both floors of the two-storey large house were well alight with an aerial ladder platform and crew responding to the raging blaze.

It took firefighters over three hours to extinguish the fire using three main water jets, however, the search for Nellie continued. Just after 11-30 am on Tuesday, police confirmed a body had been found.

Neighbours, who wish to remain anonymous, have spoken of their shock. One described Nellie as a “kind” woman who was well-liked in the village. She said: “This couple lived in Barrow for over 30 years and kept themselves to themselves, but were very polite and well respected.”

While another villager described the death as a tragedy: “A few years ago I used to see Nellie regularly walking her German Shepherd dog in Four Lane Ends, Clitheroe. I didn’t know her very well, but she always smiled and sometimes said ‘hello’. I think they have three grown-up children who live abroad. Nellie was very well liked and nice to speak to. It’s horrendous what’s happened and a huge tragedy.”