How we use Cookies

Family devastated by fire which ripped through their Chelmsley Wood home

A SHELL_SHOCKED family has been torn apart after a fire destroyed their Solihull home.

A SHELL_SHOCKED family has been torn apart after a fire destroyed their Solihull home.

“We‘ve basically been left with the clothes on our backs,” said mum Wendy Bray.

The nightmare at their Poplar Road home started on October 18 when son Raymond, aged 19 who was on his own in the house, smelt smoke.

“I opened my bedroom door and this wall of flame flew out,” he said.

“I was panicking. I tried to get the garden hose pipe but by the time I got it up there it was just a trickle coming out.

“Within about three seconds the roof came down.”

After making his escape he then went back into the blazing home to make sure the family pets of three cats and three dogs got out.

“It’s terrifying,” said Wendy. “Raymond could have been killed. My first reaction was ‘is my son safe and what about my animals?’

“As long as the people and pets we love are all alive, that’s what’s important.

“But the house has been totally devastated.”

As a result Wendy, husband Phil and 14 year-old daughter Abbey have found a roof over their heads at a Birmingham B&B while brothers Raymond and David have been forced to stay with friends or partners.

The blaze even consumed Abbey’s school uniform, which has been replaced for free by Grace Academy.

A Fire Service spokesman said: “We had a 999 call to a house fire on Poplar Avenue. It was a quite severe. The fire began in a first floor and had spread to the roof space which was clearly a concern.”

“The whole family is split up. I just go to bed and cry every night,” added Wendy, an animal nursing assistant.

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “The family has been in temporary accommodation and it is our intention to offer Mr and Mrs Bray alternative temporary accommodation when it becomes available, which we anticipate will be in the next few days.”

Police have confirmed that the cause of the fire was accidental.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.