Unknown hero who raised alarm over Chepstow fire ‘saved our lives’

Firefighters at the scene

Firefighters at the scene

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A CHEPSTOW mother has praised a passer-by who raised the alarm when he saw a neighbouring house on fire.

Helen Child Villiers, of Hardwick Avenue, said she was asleep when she heard sirens outside her house just after 5am on Friday.

The man saw an unoccupied house ablaze, alerted neighbours, and called the emergency services.

Miss Child Villiers, 33, who runs Adore Social Media and Lemonaid Pop-Up Marketing from home, said: “I ran to the windowand sawthe flames were furious and about 10ft high.

“We feared the shrubs in the front garden could catch fire and spread, causing the whole street go up in flames.”

“I don’t knowwho the man was but he saved our lives.”

“It was dreadful. We stood on the street and watched as fire crews tackled the blaze. Luckily no-one was injured.”

The mum of Nathaniel, aged four, said residents have long complained of incidents of anti social behaviour around the property, which has been empty for more than four years.

“We have been calling on Monmouthshire council to demolish the house because it attracts anti social behaviour and feared something like this would happen.”

She claimed youths as young as 12 are there at night.

“Youths often gather there at night to drink alcohol or take drugs and gain entrance into the property.”

Monmouthshire council officers secured the site on Friday and the owner secured the building. A spokesman said complaints had been made in the past about the property being insecure and that the owner has carried out improvements on each occasion.

A Gwent Police spokesman said they have dealt with three reports of anti-social behaviour at the property since January and that they regularly check the property during patrols.

The incident is being treated as suspicious and officers are investigating.

Anyone who has information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The Free Press was unable to contact the owner.

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