Belfast Telegraph

Christmas snowman set my house on fire - Donegal mum thanks 'sixth sense' for saving her life

By Greg Harkin

A mother-of-six says she's lucky to be alive after a snowman Christmas decoration set her home on fire.

Terrified Hillary Russell (58) thanked a "sixth sense" for saving her from the inferno at her home in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

The decoration - lit by fibre-optic lights - caught fire in the conservatory of her home and quickly turned into a full-blown blaze.

"It happened at 9pm and I would normally have a snooze on the sofa, but there was something eating at me and I couldn't settle," said Hillary.

"Then I could smell burning and I jumped up and ran into the conservatory and I could see the decorations on fire and it spread very quickly.

"I was absolutely terrified and ran out of the house. I'm so thankful because if that had gone up overnight I wouldn't be here talking about it."

Her two daughters, four sons and extended family spent yesterday cleaning up the mess.

"We could have been taking mum out of here in a box," said daughter Patricia. We have decided to speak out to warn other families of the dangers of Christmas decorations.

"Thankfully the fire was confined to the conservatory and smoke damage to the rest of the house because the fire crew was here within minutes," Patricia added.

"The place is destroyed but the main thing is that nobody was hurt," said mum Hillary.

Source: Evening Herald

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