The owners of a glamping retreat in south Warwickshire have thanked fire crews for their life-saving actions after a fire started at their home.
Steve Taylor tried to contain the fire on the same site of his glamping retreat business, Winchcombe Farm in Upper Tysoe, with as many fire extinguishers as he could find while they were waiting for the fire crews on Friday (January 14).
But the 64-year-old then went into cardiac arrest - but his heart was started again with a defibrillator and CPR. Steve is currently in hospital.
Firefighters worked for hours to contain the fire - which is believed to have started with an ember from the log burner, which set alight some debris in the guttering - but this is yet to be confirmed.
Jo said: "“Our smoke alarm went off on Friday evening, around 6pm, when we were eating dinner. We went into the lounge and saw smoke billowing out of one of the light fittings and thought initially it was an electrical fire.
“Because we do so much fire training here because of the business, my brain just kicked immediately to fire mode. I dialled 999 and evacuated my children and we had one of my son’s friends here for a sleepover.
"When I got them outside it was at that point I saw the roof was on fire.”
“We’d just upgraded all the fire extinguishers in the lodges and all the old ones were in the shed so everybody went and grabbed all the old extinguishers and Steve tried to contain the fire until the brigade arrived and let off nine extinguishers.
“I screamed at Steve to get out, shouting ‘the children need a father more than they need a house’ and his words were ‘I’m having a heart attack'.
"He’d had two before so I think he knew what was coming.”
Steve, Jo and their children have now had to move to one of their guest lodges as it will take months to rebuild one half of it.
Despite the fire Steve and his partner Jo Carroll are grateful to the firefighters who helped tackle the fire and say the business remains open as usual.
Jo, who is running the business from her laptop in the guest lodge, said: “I would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to Fire Officer Andy Paxton and the crews who attended.
"And especially to the female firefighter who is also a paramedic, who saved Steve’s life on the night of the fire (she administered the CPR and defibrillator).
"The ambulance crew were truly amazing and were able to stabilise Steve to get him to hospital.
“Without her and the wonderful fire crew who resuscitated him, my children would not have their father alive today and we will be forever grateful.
“The fire crews – lead by Fire Officer Andy Paxton - were just the best and we cannot thank them enough for helping us.
“Also we’d like to give our grateful thanks to friends, family, our wonderful staff and villagers, whom have all be of immense help and support at this time.
"We’ve overwhelmed with their love and support at the moment.”
Jo is desperate to get the name of the mystery paramedic who saved Steve’s life and would like to say thank you personally as well as offer her a complimentary stay.
A spokesperson from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were alerted at 6.38pm on Friday, January 17 to reports of a fire at a domestic property at Winchcombe Farm, Shenington Road, Upper Tysoe.
"We had three appliances in attendance who, on arrival, found a three storey building approximately 15m x 8m with fire located on the third floor and in the roof space.
"Crews were at the scene well into the night controlling the blaze that had broken through the roof.
"All occupants were evacuated from the building.
"Appliances also attended from Banbury due to the remote location and travel time for WFRS appliances to the scene.
"West Midlands Ambulance Service also attended this incident."