So – a interesting afternoon – of sorts.. I’m on holiday this week so we can focus on the Thames.. Anna arrived back from her Bank Holiday away.. we got the cats aboard, and all the dogs.. were starting to think about moving on and got called out of the boat by Dawson at 1pm stating that the Polish couples boat had smoke pouring out of a window..
And yes.. came out to find that the boat 100 meters away was on fire.. ran up to check the people aboard were out – which Monika was and Andrew was not there as he was at work. (We had met them when we arrived, on Friday as they had a young Yorkshire terrier, who had not met other dogs yet – and asked if he could bring ‘Bulba’ up to meet ours who were playing on the bank).
Monika stated that their dog ‘Bulba’ was still on-board.. so with the help of some of the guys from the adjacent work shops to get the rear doors open, I managed to get on and dragged the dog out before the fire reached the rear of the boat – who is now staying with us whilst Monika is taken to hospital.
There was our boat – a wide beam.. then the boat that was on fire.. so we untied the wide beam and dragged it around our boat and clear of the burning shell.. Dawson and CC worked well as a team and calmly did everything asked without problems or rows! 🙂
Once the wide beam was clear, time to move ours – before the fire brigade and police put a cordon up and stop us from getting onto our own boat – with all the dogs and cats secured aboard.. (or if the smoke gets too much and ends up killing all of our animals!)
And yes.. all the time we were moving boats around.. the people tow-path side helped to get people to safety, and ensure no one was in danger.. whilst everyone opposite were happy filming everything! 🙁 ( As Anna says.. these are our homes you………… why are you filming someones entire life going up in flames!)
At some stage, the ropes were burnt through as the boat was being moved around by the water jets.. eventually, the fire brigade managed to get a grappling hook on it to re-secure it to the bank.. In all.. 6 fire engines and 25 firefighters we here to get the fire under control.. ( more can be found here : https://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/woman-taken-hospital-after-massive-14631626 )
Were now currently moored the other side of the bridge.. and as I update this – cats, dogs, kids and adults all safe and Andrew has already come back to the boat to see whats left of their home.. and collected their dog who was so happy to see him! He did state that Monika was OK, just suffering from smoke inhalation effects, and the burns she had were superficial – they also have somewhere to stay this evening thankfully – so at least they have a room with friends for the short term..
So yea.. our trip to Brentford is delayed slightly (thankfully – we didn’t leave sooner and were still here to help!).. we will see about doing the Hanwell flight tomorrow, and get onto the Thames on Thursday – as I have this week off – again – to do our first taste of the Thames.. What is it with this Thames journey.. first the stream warnings & lock closures in April.. stopping us from getting onto it at Oxford.. get all the way around the GU to go on at Brentford.. and now this.. is something trying to tell us something..