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Newark couple describe dramatic moment they had to jump out of window to flee blaze

today5 July 2022 8

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A couple have described the dramatic moment when they had to ‘jump out of the window’ after a fire broke out in their home. Ausra Agintiene and Rolandas Agintas, a married couple originally from Lithuania, were left with nothing after the devastating incident that happened at around 4pm on April 18.

The couple, who were living on the top floor of the house on Middleton Road, Newark, were sharing the property with two more people who were based downstairs. Ausra Agintiene, 60, said she was laying in bed watching TV and her husband was asleep, both unaware that a blaze wrecked their house from the ground floor.

Crews from Newark, Collingham, Bingham, London Road, and Grantham including the Aerial Ladder Platform, worked to extinguish the fire. In the hours following the fire, people living around the house were warned to keep their doors and windows shut to keep out smoke. Later that day at around 7.45pm, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said they had scaled the incident down with one fire engine from Newark Fire Station still on scene and that a Fire Investigation was taking place to investigate the cause.

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Mrs Agintiene told Nottinghamshire Live: “My husband and I were lying on the bed, the husband was sleeping, and I was watching TV.

“But the internet disappeared, the TV was no longer working. I took my husband’s phone and started watching Tik Tok.

“Someone made a loud noise downstairs, it sounded like someone moved furniture, carried a sofa or something. Someone ran down the stairs, but I didn’t suspect anything bad, I just thought that they were moving some furniture.”

It was not until shortly after when Mrs Agintiene realised what was going on. She added: “Since I had to go to work, I was about to go to heat up the kettle and make coffee and when I looked out the window, I saw black smoke and realised that the house was on fire. I shouted at my husband Rolanda to say that the house was on fire.”



The fire wrecked their home
The fire wrecked their home

The heartbroken couple said they have lost everything in the fire. Mrs Agintiene added: “Everything burned around us. We jumped out of the window dressed in the clothes that we were wearing at the time – just in a shirt and sweatpants. We were not wearing shoes.

“Although we lived in one room, we had lived in a house before, so we owned a lot of things for the house. My husband is a fisherman.

“He had about 15 fishing rods and two large boxes of fishing equipment, which he bought during the whole time we lived in the UK, since 2015. We estimate that, apart from the clothing, we lost about £5000 or £6000 worth of stuff.”

The couple worked at Bakkavor since 2015. However, they have not returned to work since the incident.

A translator for the couple who is in continous communication with them confirmed that they have been struggling with anxiety and long-term injuries following the fire. They said they were overwhelmed by the support they received from people they “did not even know”.

Mrs Agintiene added: “After the fire, we were taken to the hospital in Mansfield. It is good that there are good people who found us in the hospital and took us to our son who lives by the border of Scotland

“We stayed there for a week, and then went to Newark where we had an interview with the council Immigration department. Since we do not speak English well, a woman from work, Jurgita Norkuviene, offered to help us.”

They praised all the support and help from the community in Newark and their place of work. They were also offered temporary housing following the incident, and have recently been moved into a new property on Snowdrop Avenue in Newark.

The grateful family added: “We want to thank everyone who helped us and is still helping us. There are people who helped, but we just don’t know them, and we just would not even remember them because we were in shock. Someone gave us a TV, someone else a washing machine, and then someone else a freezer. We want just want to say a big than you to everyone who helped us.”

Dozens of residents contributed to a relief fund as the Lithuanian Family had lost all their possessions. Asda Newark donated clothes and toiletries, Acorn Taxis donated a £50 Peacocks’ Voucher, a neighbour donated a washing machine, a charity provided beds, the Salvation Army provided a freezer and clothes and neighbours donated various items.

Councillor Debbie Darby, an Independent Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Collingham which includes Newark said: “The fire on Bank Holiday Monday – 18th April shocked the whole Newark Community. As soon as I became aware of the fire – I dropped everything to help. We found temporary accommodation for them that was threadbare.

“After a post on social media – the community rallied around in a way that only Newark folk do. People, businesses and charities were amazingly generous and I can’t thank them enough. They have made a real positive difference to this family.

“When you look at the aftermath of the fire – it’s lucky that lives weren’t lost. I am so proud of how the community where I am a councillor came together for this family. The family are so grateful to everyone for everything, their translator we’re the family’s guardian angels.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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