A BRIDE-to-be and her family have been left without a home after it was destroyed in a fire.

Mum Louise Adams was at home with her children and fiancé Chris when the fire broke out.

It started after a standing freezer blew up and within five minutes the whole house, off Thurstable Road, Tollesbury, was engulfed in flames and smoke.

Their furniture, children’s toys and even Louise’s wedding dress were destroyed.

She said: “The fire started with a Becko standing freezer and next to that was an under counter freezer and a fridge.

“They all went up because of gases. The tall freezer went first, Chris heard it go bang as I was in the shower.

“He went to check what it was and said the back of the freezer on fire and we had to get out.”

Louise called for her 15-year-old stepdaughter, Ashleigh, while Chris picked up 19-month-old Nevaeh who was asleep on the sofa.

She said: “We ran out and could see the from the utility room window, then the other two fridge freezers went bang.

“We rang 999 and the Tollesbury fire service was there in minutes, they were amazing. The house was up in five minutes.”

Fire crews from Tollesbury, Tiptree and Colchester attended the incident at around 8pm on Sunday.

They managed to get the flames out quickly but unfortunately the smoke alarms were not active.

Tollesbury Fire Station’s watch manager Dave Farrant said: “The occupants of this house had a lucky escape from this fire.

“They had two smoke alarms in their property, but neither were working so they did not alert them to the fire.

“Luckily the occupants were awake and were able to get out of their house, but the delay in calling 999 meant their house has suffered bad damage and is not habitable.”

Thankfully no-one was hurt but all possessions have been destroyed.

Louise said: “We have nothing as everything is covered in smoke. We can’t stay there as the house is ruined.We have no beds or furniture, or a washing machine but as we can’t live in the house. I have nowhere to store anything.”

She has another daughter, Lily, nine, who was on holiday with her grandparents when the fire happened. Her favourite toys have been destroyed.

In less than 24 hours resident Tracey Tape set up a fundraising collection online for £1,000 to help out.

She said: “As some of you will be aware, a young family lost nearly everything in a house fire. They are due to get married on August 10. This is where this lovely little village rallies around.

“She has lost her wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, wedding suits, personal belongings, children’s clothes and toys, nappies, their own clothes and much more.”

Residents have come forward with sofas, wedding dresses and decorations.The colour scheme for the wedding is rose gold and confetti, table runners and card box have been donated.

Louise said: “We are grateful to everyone, it’s amazing.We didn’t know people could be so nice.”

She was also keen to praise the fire service from Tollesbury for responding so quickly.

The family is staying at Louise’s mum’s house in Canvey.

For details about donations visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tracey-tape.

Priority items are children’s clothes, toys and nappies.