Morrisons lend a helping hand to Norman after he escapes house blaze

Siblings Steve Redfearn and Ann Parker with their dad Norman
Siblings Steve Redfearn and Ann Parker with their dad Norman

A granddad from Mirfield had a miraculous escape when his house caught fire on Christmas Day.

Norman Redfearn, 88, who has mobility problems, managed to flee his rented home on Crossley Lane as the blaze spread, but lost all his possessions in the process.

Simon Vickers, Morrison's Heckmondwike Store Manager, Helen Perkin, Morrison's Heckmondwike People Manager, and Ann Parker, with the items that were donated to her father Norman.

Simon Vickers, Morrison's Heckmondwike Store Manager, Helen Perkin, Morrison's Heckmondwike People Manager, and Ann Parker, with the items that were donated to her father Norman.

However, Morrisons in Heckmondwike, where Mr Redfearn is a regular customer, have donated several households essentials to replace what he has lost.

Mr Redfearn, who has two children and three grandchildren, had lived in the property since 1983, and was the sole occupier after the death of his wife Christine in 2002.

“It was on Christmas day night, he had just got home from a party and his chair caught fire and by some miracle he managed to leave the room,” said his daughter Ann Parker, 59.

“The fire caught hold and sadly destroyed the kitchen, the living room and the bathroom.

The damage to Norman's home in Mirfield

The damage to Norman's home in Mirfield

“Sadly he didn’t have contents insurance so he lost everything apart from the clothes he was wearing. Everything was too smoke damaged to survive.

“But he’s alive, which we’re very, very grateful for.

“He did suffer burns to his legs, arms, head and ears but luckily not too badly. We just need to get him mobile again.

“He has long-standing mobility issues. He couldn’t stand up and then move about, it took him a couple of minutes to get moving.

“He went into the kitchen to get some water to throw on the fire but by that time it had caught hold.

“He tripped over his walking frame and suffered a bit of smoke inhalation. He got to the back door and got out by which time the neighbours had heard a big bang, which was possibly from the gas fire.

“The front window blew out, and his car was written off as well.

“It’s a miracle he survived, but I think it was my mum watching over him.

“The fire inspector said he couldn’t believe the damage to the house and that he had got out.”

Mr Redfearn, who worked as a butcher at Woods Bacon Factory in Mirfield before becoming a transport manager with Booth’s Catering in Heckmondwike, is currently at a rehabilitation unit in Mirfield recovering from the ordeal.

“He’s a long time customer at Morrisons, he has gone there every day, he bakes the staff birthday cakes because he knows them so well,” said Ann.

“I mentioned what had happened to them and they were absolutely fantastic, they went above and beyond, they’ve practically fitted out a new kitchen for him.

“They’ve provided him with a new microwave, toaster, kettle, pan set, mugs, glasses, cutlery, baking equipment so he can make some more cakes, cleaning equipment, tea towels, dishcloths.

“The back seat of my car was full. We can’t thank them enough. I was just overwhelmed, and my dad was stunned.

“He also loves Daniel O’Donnell and his management have sent us a box if things from him too.”

Store manager Simon Vickers said: “Norman is a regular customer at Morrisons Heckmondwike and is well-liked by staff members.

“One staff member even told me that he’s been known to hand out sweets and cake in the past.

“We heard about Norman’s house fire through his daughter, Ann, and acted swiftly in arranging for items to be donated.

“It’s a small gesture but will hopefully go some way in helping him settle in his new accommodation.”