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Joshua's warm thanks

Boy, seven, writes to firefighters after lightning strikes garage

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Joshua's warm thanks

A THOUGHTFUL Thatcham boy has written a letter thanking the firefighters who tackled a blaze started by a lightning strike.

Joshua Ladds penned the touching message to Newbury and Dee Road crews who extinguished a fire following the strike in Justice Close on May, 21.

The roof of one garage was blown off and an adjoining garage was damaged.  

The seven-year-old Francis Baily School pupil also sent a picture he drew of the incident to the crews. 

His letter reads: “Dear Fire Fighters, Thank you for being sooper brave yesterday when a Fire started down the road from our house.

“I didn’t Know lightening could do so much damage. you are my heroes. I hope you enjoyed the tea and biscuits.

“Love Joshua.”

Joshua had been with his mother, Sharyn, at the Kennet Leisure Centre when he heard the thunderstorm. 

Mrs Ladds said they heard what sounded like “an almighty crash, which we thought at the time was a thunderclap, but turns out was most likely the lightening strike to the garage”.

There was a moment of panic as mother and son raced back to see whether their home was at risk as thick black smoke started to pour out from near their property.  

“We were relieved to arrive home and see all was okay, but Joshua became increasingly worried as he has a number of friends who live near to us,” she said.

“Being a young kid he was also naturally curious.”  

Firefighters brought the fire under control and residents rallied round to help, offering hot drinks and biscuits to crews and neighbours. 

Mrs Ladds said: “Josh was definitely relieved to see that no one was hurt and none of his friends had been affected by the fire, following which he immediately asked if could help deliver cups of tea and coffee and biscuits to the firefighters,”  

Joshua, amazed at seeing the firefighters in action, got to work on his letter and picture.

“He kept saying how hard the fire-fighters had worked and how brave they were, and he thought that a picture and letter would make them smile,” Mrs Ladds said.

The firefighters have invited Joshua for a tour of Newbury Fire Station as a thank you for his letter and drawing.  

Mrs Ladds said: “I’m very proud of Josh for how he handled the whole thing.

“From the initial worry it might be our home, to wanting to stay at the scene and somehow help out, to then going on to draw and write a letter for the firefighters because, quite simply, it would make them smile.

“But that is typical of his nature, he is full of empathy and very thoughtful.”   

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