Friday 23 February 2018

Snooker star Jimmy White loses 'everything' after flat fire

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - NOVEMBER 14: Jimmy White of England chalks the cue during the first round match against Gareth Allen of Wales on day one of Coral Northern Ireland Open 2016 at Titanic Exhibition Centre on November 14, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Tai Chengzhe/VCG via Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - NOVEMBER 14: Jimmy White of England chalks the cue during the first round match against Gareth Allen of Wales on day one of Coral Northern Ireland Open 2016 at Titanic Exhibition Centre on November 14, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Tai Chengzhe/VCG via Getty Images)

Jimmy White has said he lost everything after a fire at his Epsom home on Wednesday.

The former Masters and UK Championship winner, and six-time World Championship runner-up, posted a picture on Twitter of smoke coming from the building where he has a flat.

He wrote: "Fire at my flat this morning. Everything gone. Gutted. Cue was in car and most importantly no one hurt."

White's long-time friend Kevin Kelly also posted a picture that showed a window frame hanging down from the third-room residence with fire engines in attendance.

He wrote: "Shocking scenes in Alexandra road Epsom this morning", adding "Jimmys flat on fire".

White, 54, is due to play in the German Masters this week.

It is understood that despite the damage to his home, White was travelling out to Germany for the tournament.

Messages of support followed White's announcement.

Snooker referee Jan Verhaas posted on Twitter: "sorry to hear mate. Glad u ok"

Comedian Mark Watson added: "That's awful mate. Hope stuff can be replaced."

Fellow snooker professional Mike Dunn said: "really awful news pal, main thing is you and anyone else is ok"

The station commander for Epsom and Banstead fire stations, Steve Schooling, said the alarm had been raised by a fellow resident of the apartment block who heard an alarm and had gone to feel the back of the flat's door to check for heat.

"When the first crews got there they had to break the door down," Mr Schooling said.

"They were faced with a very serious situation that involved fire.

"We were able to get it quickly under control and the remainder of the incident was damping things down."

Asked about the extent of the fire, he added that it was "significant" and that efforts were ongoing to determine the cause.

There was nobody present in the flat at the time of the fire, Mr Schooling said.

Press Association

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