Sugden House Fire 16 October 2007: "Emmerdale's 35th Anniversary Episode"
Jack Sugden told his children that his wife, Diane, had feelings for Billy Hopwood. Victoria was full of guilt and sobbing, insisting it was all her fault and she wished she’d never followed the pair and heard their conversation. An angry Victoria paid Billy a visit. During the heated argument in which Victoria blamed Billy for ruining her family, he implied that the Sugdens' had never been saintly and brought up the subject of Sarah’s death, Victoria's mother. “Bit of a coincidence, Jack being there the night your mother died,” he said, smiling. “Think about it Victoria - have they ever really told you what happened to her?”. Victoria didn't want to listen to Billy but it was clear her desire to discover her mother's killer had resurfaced.
On 16 October 2007, after yet another row with Jack about Diane, Victoria went off alone and got drunk. The teenager had been rifling through old newspaper clippings of the fire that killed her mother. One of the pictures was of Sarah’s lover, Richie Carter, who had been there and survived. Victoria had decided to pay Richie a visit, in a last-ditch attempt to find out the truth about the night her mother died. Richie told her he couldn’t help her. Begrudgingly, Richie described the events leading up to fire, including how Jack had threatened to kill him and Sarah for their betrayal. Richie was adamant, telling Victoria it wasn't her dad. Victoria didn't believe Richie and returned to the village and was promptly sick from the alcohol. Spotting Andy down the road, she ran into a nearby garage to hide. She overheard Andy bump into Jack, who told him Victoria had not gone to school. The pair set off to look for her together. Inside the garage, a clearly disturbed Victoria spotted a petrol can. She picked it up. Victoria took the can home and doused the furniture with petrol. Moments later, Jack and Andy returned to Annie’s Cottage and immediately smelled the fumes. Then they saw Victoria, poised with a lighter in her hand, ready to set the place alight. Victoria was screaming at her dad to tell her the truth about how her mother died or else they'd know what it feels like to burn. Unable to stay quiet any longer, Andy shocked Victoria by telling her that he had started the fire that led to Sarah's death. Victoria looked at her brother in horror and then fled upstairs where she fell and hurt her head badly. She was put on her bed, bleeding. Andy stayed with her while Jack went into the bathroom to soak a towel in warm water to clean his daughter’s head. He had forgotten about the petrol fumes in the house when he turned on the hot tap. The pilot light in the boiler came on and ignited the fumes. A massive explosion ripped through the house.
Daz had been walking towards the cottage and was knocked to the ground with the force of the blast. Inside Annie’s Cottage, the lounge was a raging inferno, where Victoria had soaked everything in petrol. As the fire took hold, there was a second explosion. Andy and Victoria were in her bedroom and Andy smashed her window. He swept her up in his arms and carried her to the window. By now many of the villagers, including Jonny, Matthew, Perdy, Diane and Billy and others, were standing outside. Jonny waited below the bedroom window with his arms up, telling Andy to drop his sister down. With Victoria safe, Andy went back for Jack but a wall of fire separated them. Billy climbed a ladder, which was set up outside, and got Andy to the window where he jumped out onto a hay truck, that Matthew had hot-wired and parked under the window. Using a blanket for cover, Billy got Jack from the bathroom and out the bedroom window. As Billy was about to climb out, numerous half-empty alcohol bottles caught fire creating another explosion, which blew Billy across the room. The fire services retrieved an unconscious Billy from the house.
While all of this was going on Eric Pollard was trapped in the house next door after he got Pearl Ladderbanks out, but was retrieved by Ross Kirk.
Read more about this topic: Major Emmerdale Storylines
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