Former St Helens and Widnes rugby player John Stankevitch devastated by house fire
A FORMER professional rugby league player has shared his grief after ‘losing everything’ in a devastating fire yesterday, Friday.
Former St Helens and Widnes Vikings striker John Stankevitch has posted video footage of damage to his home following the fire.
The 42-year-old, who has taken to the field at the top level of the British rugby club, was sleeping at his house in Widnes with his family when the fire broke out.
He said if they hadn’t come out when they did, they would have been ‘dead’ as the roof collapsed after an electrical fault caused the attic to catch fire.
Posting on Twitter, John said: “In the early hours of the morning our house burned down and we lost everything.
“At 4:45 a.m. my daughter sounded the alarm. Five minutes later we would all be dead when the roof collapsed.
In the early hours of this morning, our house burned down and we lost everything. At 4:45 my daughter sounded the alarm. 5 minutes later and we would all be dead because the roof collapsed. Fire caused by electrical failure in the attic above the bathroom. What a day! 😭 pic.twitter.com/gteuO743PW
— John Stankevitch (@johnstankevitch) April 29, 2022
“The fire was caused by an electrical fault in the attic above the bathroom. What a day.”
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that at around 4.45am four fire engines from Runcorn, Widnes, Penketh and Chester fire stations were dispatched to a property in Widnes.
This followed reports of a fire in the attic, and during an inspection it was discovered that the fire involved the insulation of a cavity wall in the attic of the timber frame house.
Using an aerial ladder device from Chester Fire Station, crews were able to extinguish the flames and expose the roof to check for any remaining hot spots.
A thermal camera was also used to ensure the fire had not spread to other parts of the building.
In a subsequent tweet this morning, John added, “I managed to get three hours of uninterrupted sleep.
“I’m trying to think logically now after losing everything in the house fire yesterday.
“We need to find another place to live in the next few days and start replacing beds, televisions, wardrobes, electrical appliances, etc. Sentimental items are all gone.”
The tweets were met with shock and sympathy from people wishing John and his family the best during what will inevitably be a difficult few days, weeks and months.
John played in the St Helens Red V between the 2000 and 2004 seasons, making 131 appearances and scoring 26 tries.
He donned the Widnes shirt during the 2005 season on 22 occasions, also starting his coaching career at the club as Senior Academy Head Coach in 2006.
He returned to Widnes after a stint as head coach at Doncaster. He returned to Widnes in 2007 as a first-team assistant coach, until being appointed interim head coach between January and June 2009.