A FAMILY who “lost everything” in a fire at their Pontypool home said they suspect it was caused by electrical work.

The fire broke out at the house, on Tranch Road, on Friday, March 4 while there were seven people – including a 76-year-old woman and two children, who both turn one next week – in the house at the time.

Christine Edwards told the Argus that the hallway filled with smoke within minutes, with the fire spreading across the house and blowing out the windows in less than 10 minutes.

“An electrician came on January 24 to do the light outside the back door,” said Ms Edwards. “She said to my mum that she didn’t need to use the switch to use the outside light as it would come on automatically. It doesn’t come on automatically, she still had to use the switch.

South Wales Argus: The living room after the fire. Picture: Maria Richards.The living room after the fire. Picture: Maria Richards.

“Last week my sister came and could smell burning. We couldn’t see what it was.

“On Friday, the smoke alarm went off. We opened the door and the hallway was full of smoke. The electrical cupboard was full of smoke.

“But it didn’t even put the electrics out.”

Ms Edwards said she wanted to have an independent electrician look at the circuit board to try and establish what caused of the fire.

Maria Roberts told the Argus that their mum – who requires a stairlift – had been offered alternative accommodation, but this was in a second floor flat.

“We want to know what they intend to do about it,” said Ms Roberts. “We want them to be fair and give her a home while her house is rebuilt.”

South Wales Argus: The staircase inside the house. Picture: Maria Richards.The staircase inside the house. Picture: Maria Richards.

Ms Edwards said her mum, sister and nieces and nephews – who were all living in the house – are currently staying with her.

Emma Fish, service lead for housing and contact at Bron Afon, said: “The property was badly damaged by the fire that broke out last Friday afternoon but thankfully, no-one was injured.

“Colleagues from our Community Housing team have been liaising closely with our tenant, who had asked to be rehoused close to her home. The flat we originally offered was the only one we had available immediately but we are now working with our tenant and her family to look at properties in a wider area that will be more suited to her needs.

South Wales Argus: The house on Tranch Road, Pontypool, after a fire on Friday.The house on Tranch Road, Pontypool, after a fire on Friday.

“We realise how stressful the aftermath of a fire can be, so members of our Torfaen Support Service team will be in touch with the family to offer any support they can during this difficult time.

“We have made the exterior of the property safe and we will be working with our loss adjustors on the next steps.

“At the moment, we don’t know the cause of the fire.”

Ms Edwards said she had requested a copy of the last electrical test done at the house – in 2017 – but had been told by Bron Afon that she couldn’t. The Argus asked Bron Afon about this, but did not get a response.

A South Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “At approximately 12.48pm on Friday, March 4, we received reports of a fire at property on Tranch Road in Pontypool.

“Multiple crews attended the scene and were faced with a well-developed fire.

“Firefighters used specialist equipment to extinguish the fire and a stop message was received at 2.31pm.”