A FAMILY was forced out onto the streets early yesterday morning after a fire in a neighbouring house spread and gutted the top floor of their home.

After spotting smoke pouring from the roof of his County Road property, Pedro Carvalho quickly rushed his wife, brother and three children aged eight, six and one and half years outside before firefighters arrived.

Although no-one was hurt in the incident, the family have been left shaken and are now counting the cost of the damage.

“I was taking the bins out when I turned around and saw smoke coming from the roof,” said Pedro, who works for the Iceland food company.

“I rushed inside to tell everyone and had to wake the children up and get them outside. We just had to wait until the fire brigade arrived as it got worse.

“We are all tired but grateful everyone is okay.”

The fire service has told the family it is not safe for them to remain in the house because of the smoke fumes and the amount of water used to extinguish the fire.

The upstairs room was used for storage with about £1,500 worth of damage done to equipment, including a computer and sound amps.

Pedro said: “My wife is now talking to the insurance company to find out what to do next.

“At the moment I do not know how long it will take to sort out or what the overall extent of the damage is.

“The top room is totally gone so it will need lots of work.”

The cause of the fire is believed to be down to an accidental electrical fault but is being investigated. The occupants of three houses were evacuated and County Road was closed until 6am while the scene was attended by several fire crews, including an aerial appliance.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said: “The roof of a house in County Road, Swindon was severely damaged by fire.

“Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service was called to the terraced property at 11.48pm and found the roof well alight, with the fire spreading into the neighbouring roof space.

“Three crews from Swindon and Stratton tackled the blaze, supported by an aerial appliance, which was used to give firefighters access to the whole roof area.

“Six breathing apparatus wearers used two hose reel jets and a main jet to extinguish the fire, and firefighters also stripped away a number of roof tiles to find any remaining hotspots.”