The Sun (London, England)

6 March 1998

Duvet burst into flames and Lena's memories were wiped out in a few short moments - Exclusive

EX-KID STAR'S FLAT GUTTED

FORMER pop star Lena Zavaroni wept last night after mementoes from her career were destroyed in a bedsit blaze. Lena, 34, escaped unhurt after a candle set light to her bedroom.

But she lost treasured records, photos and books as the blaze tore through the uninsured seventh-floor flat.

She said yesterday: "The flat is gutted. It's horrendous." Lena, originally from Rothesay, Bute, said she was most upset at losing photos from her 1970s heyday.

She shot to fame aged ten on hit TV show Opportunity Knocks and had hits including Personality and Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me.

But her career dived after she developed anorexia, which she still suffers from.

Her marriage in 1990 broke up after two years and she now lives alone on benefits.

Titanic

Lena was last night staying with her dad Victor just down the road from her burnt-out home in Hoddesdon, Herts.

She said: "The flat is gutted. It's absolutely horrendous. It looks like the wreck of the Titanic in there.

"I honestly couldn't believe it happened so quickly. You just never think it's going to happen to you."

The fire started after a candle at the side of Lena's bed toppled over, igniting a piece of paper which in turn set fire to her covers.

She added: "I went into the kitchen to make a cup and tea and I smelled smoke.

"I went to see where it was coming from and I saw my duvet totally alight.

"I tried to put the flames out using a blanket, but I couldn't stop them spreading. It was going too quick, it was too big for me to put out.

"I ran outside and shouted, 'Fire, Fire, then ran to my neighbour's flat and they let me in."

Fire crews managed to put out the blaze within an hour of being called at 10.30pm on Monday but not before half of the main room had been severely damaged by heat and smoke.

Lena was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics but did not need to be taken to hospital.

She said she didn't know what she was going to do about getting her flat repaired because it was not insured and claimed she did not have the money to fix it.

Lena added: "It puts everything into perspective. "At least no one was hurt."

Divorced

Lena's life started to go wrong when she left Rothesay to go to London.

Her parents divorced when she was 17 and, though dad Victor remarried, her mum Hilda never did.

She died alone, eight years later, in a tiny flat in Rothesay after consuming a massive amount of sleeping pills.

Her body lay for three days without being discovered.

— Copyright News Group Newspapers Limited 1998, 2003.

The Sun (London, England)

6 March 1998

Pop Lena's fire agony

EX-POP star Lena Zavaroni wept last night after mementoes from her career were destroyed in a bedsit blaze.

Lena, 34, escaped unhurt after a candle set light to her blankets.

But she lost treasured records, photos and books as the blaze tore through the uninsured seventh-floor flat in Hoddesdon, Herts.

She said yesterday: "The flat is gutted. It's horrendous." Lena said she was most upset at losing photos from her 70s heyday.

She shot to fame aged ten with hits including Personality. But her career dived after she developed anorexia. She now lives alone on benefits.

— Copyright News Group Newspapers Limited 1998, 2003.