Mayor forced to live in hotel after fire at homeBy Hugh Fort
July 02, 2012
The borough’s mayor has been living in a hotel since a fire which could have blown up her house.
Councillor Jennie McCracken, mayor of Bracknell Forest, and her husband Cllr Iain McCracken say they were “incredibly lucky” the fire in their home’s fusebox did not spread to the gas boiler next to it.
The couple have praised the work of the fire service for getting to the blaze before it reached the boiler and caused an explosion.
The fire broke out on Friday, May 11, just five days before Jennie took over as mayor.
It caused severe damage to the couple’s utility room at their home in Ardingly, Great Hollands.
It did not spread, but meant they had no gas or electricity.
As a result, they have spent the last month living in the Hilton Hotel in Bagshot Road.
Jennie said: “The Hilton staff were wonderful, but it’s just not home and we’re so glad to be back.”
Iain added: “It’s the little things you’re so used to at home.
“Like getting up, pottering around and then having a bit of breakfast.
“At the hotel you’re told when everything is.
“One of the things we had to do was learn how to use a launderette.
“We were both staring at it cluelessly at first.”
Jennie added they are now “close friends” with the people who run the local launderette in Great Hollands and that she put on half a stone while unable to resist the offer of a full English breakfast every day.
Iain said: “I’d urge everyone to get smoke alarms fitted above their fuseboxes. We have lots in our house but none near there.
“We were very lucky, if that fire had spread to the boiler it would’ve probably destroyed the house.
“We’re very thankful that the fire service arrived so quickly to save it.
“It’s not been ideal, particularly with the hectic mayoral schedule, but they did us proud at the hotel.
“But we are very pleased to be home and back to normal now.”