Wrexham family stranded in 10ft snow forced to burn old furniture to keep warm


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The Independent Online

A Welsh family stranded under three metres (10ft) of snow were made to burn furniture to keep warm and survive.

Ben Massam decided to set fire to disused wooden tables, chairs and cabinets to keep warm and protect his 16-month-old son.

They were trapped in a farm embedded in a hillside at Bryneglwys near Wrexham. Eventually, the children were airlifted to hospital near Wrexham on Sunday as a precaution, leaving Mr Massam stuck at the farm.

He described the conditions: “You can walk over the washing line there's that much snow. You can’t see any of the cars, the cars are all buried and I mean literally buried - they're gone.”

"We had no power, no electric for 24 hours. My brother-in-law lives down in Connah's Quay so he wasn't too far away and he managed to get to us on foot with his friend.”

"It got to the point where I just thought... we needed to try to get him [the baby] out to reasonable safety."

Mr Massam added: "We just needed to get them to safety and a bit more civilisation.

"They're not back yet, we're still waiting for the council to try and decide if they're going to dig me out, or if I'm staying here riding it out."

At least 6,000 homes were affected by the heavy snowfall in North Wales, including the loss of power leaving many without electricity.

Other incidents in the area included two tourists having to be rescued on Saturday after being stranded in their car.

Mountain rescue teams are helping the police, ambulance and the RAF rescue families such as the Massams across the region, as well as dealing with people stuck in cars and others who need to go to hospital for pre-booked treatments.

Alistair Reed of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue, told BBC Radio Wales it had been "like Arctic conditions in that part of Wales".