A SHELDON family’s home was wrecked by fire as they were out shopping on Monday.
Adrian Hill, his wife Julie and their three children had gone to the Fort Shopping Centre to buy euros for a holiday in Spain.
A neighbour phoned them to say their semi-detached house in Rotherfield Road was burning and when they got back they found the fire brigade and police in attendance.
The newly-renovated kitchen had been gutted - the force of the blaze blew out the windows - and the rest of the house was filled with thick smoke.
“It was just devastating to find the house in such a mess, but luckily no one was hurt,” said 39-year-old Mr Hill, a ground maintenance worker.
Among the possessions destroyed was the family’s passports, as well as kitchen appliances, a computer and mobile phones.
The blaze is thought to have been started by a breadmaking oven being left on.
Mr and Mrs Hill and their children, aged three to 12, have now had to move in with relatives while their house is renovated.
Crews from Sheldon and Hay Mills were called to the end-terrace three-storey property at 12.33pm.
They were confronted by “a severe fire which involved 100 per cent of the ground floor rear kitchen,” said a spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service.
Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze. It took about half an hour to bring under control.
Gas and electricity supplies were isolated and fans used to clear thick smoke. A cordon was established around the house for safety reasons.
A member of the public was treated by paramedics for the effects of inhaling smoke.