A Market Rasen woman has disputed claims a devastating fire that left her homeless just before Christmas could have been caused by an ‘unattended cooker.’
Fire crews rushed to 20-year-old Courtney Hubbard’s flat in King Street on Friday, December 20.
Fortunately, Courtney was visiting friends at the time.
According to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, the cause was a cooker left unattended.
However, Courtney said: “There was no possible way that I left the hob on as I didn’t go anywhere near the cooker.
“That day, I came back from my boyfriend’s house and was in the flat for five minutes and then went out again.
“I didn’t even go in the kitchen - there must have been an electrical fault.
“I’ve got people saying that I started the fire on purpose - just to get attention.
“My two cats were in the flat - I wouldn’t have started it myself.” Courtney said she will not return to the flat and is looking for somewhere else to live.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Julie Lambie of the Market Rasen Action Group to help Courtney.
Courtney added: “I would like to say a special thank you to (friends) Ashley Danville and Zoe Atkin because they have given me a home.
“I would also like to thank the wider community of Market Rasen for their support and donations.”
Courtney explained she was at a friend’s house when she received a call about a problem at her flat.
She explained: “I got a call saying that my neighbour was trying to get hold of me as there was beeping coming from my flat.
“My friend and I started to walk back to my flat and at that moment I didn’t think much of it.
“I just thought there might be an alarm fault or something.
“We got outside the first door that you go through to get to my flat and all I could smell was burning.
“With that I panicked.
“I opened my door and there was just a ‘brick wall’ of smoke.
“You couldn’t see anything but I tried to go into the flat as my two cats were in there.
“All I was thinking about was my cats, Pumpkin and Nugget.
“At first, the firefighters couldn’t find Pumpkin and Nugget - they even got a person out to give CPR to the cats if needed.
“They couldn’t find them because the cats were hiding.
“I went back to the flat later on to try and find them myself.
“One cat was at the door and the other was at the top of the stairs.
“They were both covered in thick, black smoke.
“While the firefighters were at the scene, my friend Zoe was telling her partner down the phone - ‘she is staying with us’.
“I have been staying with Zoe and her partner since.
“The kitchen has been ruined and the rest of my stuff has been smoke damaged.
“I’ve taken clothes from my flat to try and wash them - but I have washed them eight times and the smell and smoke stains are still there.
“I didn’t ask for any donations - everyone has just been so kind and helpful.
“I am so grateful for everything they have done.
“I’ve been given clothes, food, toiletries - somebody even gave me a mattress.
“I even had people turning round to me that I didn’t even know offering me somewhere to stay.
“Everyone has been so sweet.”
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com and search for Julie Lambie.