Quest to find Northampton teacher who took in young brothers after their house burned down

A man who grew up in Northampton is trying to find the teacher who took him and his in brother when their childhood home was gutted by a fire.

Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 9:01 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 9:59 pm
Jermaine Jones (pictured recently with his children) is looking for the teacher who took him in after a fire in 1991.

Jermaine Jones was at Blackthorn Lower School on December 13, 1991 when he was taken out of class and shown his house, over the back of the school in Waingrove, which was ablaze with firemen tackling the flames.

That evening five-year-old Jermaine and brother Andrew, four, went home with a teacher while their parents sought to find a new home.

The boys stayed for a week that transformed Jermaine's life.

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Jermaine as a boy

He said: "Blackthorn was pretty deprived so her house was just incredible to us.

"It was warm and comfy and they showed so much love. I remember being completely amazed that people could live like this."

The Chronicle & Echo reported the following day that, according to the fire brigade, a smoke alarm sounding in the house had saved the lives of Jermaine's parents and younger brother and sister. When the three crews arrived, flames were "coming out of every window and roof space."

Hearing through the Chronicle & Echo that the boys' Christmas presents had gone up in flames, the Blackthorn community rallied round and the brothers received clothes, books and bags.

The article about the fire in the Chron the following day

The school also chipped in with Tetley-branded mugs, organisers and pencils, which delighted the youngsters.

But the best presents were from the teacher, who gave the boys a pair of slippers featuring animal faces each, a kindness Jermaine has not forgotten for than 27 years later.

Jermaine said that, looking back, the visit was a turning point.

Inspired by his brief glimpse of how the other half live, Jermaine went on to college, where he gained a distinction in ICT and also qualified as a mechanic. He is now a father of three and earns a living as a truck driver.

He would now like to meet the teacher whose name he has forgotten but who showed him such kindness.

All he can remember about her is that she was tall and blonde and she had a daughter who was a child in 1991.

He said: "I would like to give her a big hug and thank her for what she did, No other teacher I know of would have taken in someone else's children, asking nothing for it.

"She really went above her job."

If anyone knows who the kindhearted teacher is, please contact Nick on 01604 467033 or at: [email protected]