NEIGHBOURS living next to a hoarders’s house which blazed for more than five hours have told how their home was wrecked by water as firefighters battled to contain the blaze.

Trevor Wilson, 45, and wife Kelly, had to evacuate their home in Gambleside, Vange, on Sunday morning after it became filled with thick black smoke.

It was after Alan Wrigley, aged in his 70s’, home - which was packed with 25 years worth of clutter - next door caught fire at 8.30am.

The couple also told of the nightmare of living next door to a hoarders, whose garden was also littered in junk, including 12 trollies and a dead cat buried under rubbish.

It took firefighters more than five hours to put out the flames due to the huge amount of smouldering junk filling each room, and four fire engines full of water were poured onto the house.

Trevor said: “Because of the amount of water it just seeped into our house. The carpets were waterlogged and we have had to pull them up.

It was only fitted in the lounge a year ago and laminate flooring in the hall six months ago. It will cost us about £1,000.

The Wilsons have pulled up their carpet, taken down the Christmas tree and some wrapped presents were also destroyed.

Kelly said: “We couldn’t see there was so much smoke in the house when we woke up. We were out for most of the day because of this.

We are still going to enjoy Christmas though with the whole family. The way I see it it could have been a lot worse and we are all safe.”

She also said the firefighters who stopped the fire spreading were incredibly brave. The cause of the fire has been determined as accidental but the fire service is trying to establish the exact cause.

It has also been claimed Mr Wrigley, a former professor, lost a clutter-filled home to a fire in Pitsea in similar circumstances 25 years ago before moving to Gambleside.