Neighbours were woken by an “explosion” before a fire engine from Alcester arrived to fight the flames billowing out of Katheryn’s Renault Clio.

“They were concerned when they got here that in the short time that it had been going for it had nearly gone in to the roof,” she said.

Two more fire engines – from Stratford-upon-Avon and Bidford-on-Avon – were sent for, and although the fire shattered upstairs bedroom windows and “warped” window frames, the damage done to the house was contained to a limited amount.

“Had they have had to come from Stratford, it would have already gone into the roof,” said homeowner Katheryn, whose lived in Arrow Crescent for seven years. “We’d have lost the house I think.”

The inside of Katheryn’s burnt-out Clio.

She initially thought her neighbours were mixing cement when woken by the noise, before she peered out of her front-facing bedroom window.

“I think I probably swore,” she said, before bustling partner Chris Dawson and her 15-year-old son Josh out the back door.

The car was underneath an unoccupied bedroom. “Luckily my brother and his girlfriend are off travelling,” explained the music teacher, who also works at The Royal Oak in town.

“It was terrifying,” she said. “From the bottom of the garden you could see the flames and the smoke was getting blacker. It just seemed to be getting worse all the time.”

The fire service is planning to cut £2.4 million from its £20 million budget by 2018. Thirty-five jobs will be lost in the next two years.

Ian Tonner, Group Commander in Strategy and Planning at Warwickshire Fire and Rescue said the decision to remove overnight firefighters from Alcester was made because in the last two years there have only been three or four incidents in the town during these hours.

“It’s about getting the right truck in the right place at the right time,” he said. “We don’t require a full-time truck to be there.”

Overnight the town will be covered by firefighteres from Stratford, Bidford and elsewhere.

The car was written off.

A consultation period with the public has been launched, and after Sunday’s fire the people of Alcester have become more concerned.

“It’s certainly a hot topic,” said Katheryn, whose mum Helen has already written to the service to express the need to keep firefighters in Alcester.

“It just goes to show we do need there to be 24 hour coverage,” said Katheryn. “Hopefully something good can come out of it.”

To complete the consultation survery visit

Upstairs windows were smashed and the frames were damaged.

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