Tracey Box-Smith, 31, lives in Outing Close, Southend with her partner, Peter, and their six children, aged five-months, five, seven, eight, nine and ten.
She believes the property’s old fuse board meant it didn’t trip. Fortunately her partner put out the flames before they spread.
Tracey told the Echo: “I’m a nervous wreck. The kids are terrified, they didn’t sleep at all that night.
“I dread to think what could’ve happened. The alarm is two metres from the front door where the stairs are – we wouldn’t have made it out.
“Estuary Housing weren’t open on a Sunday so I had to call out-of-hours who said there was nothing they can do until Monday morning, but we would have been left with no lighting so I had to re-wire the fuse board myself.
“The fuse board was wired with the wrong wire – it wasn’t even fuse wire. Because it’s an old fuse board, it didn’t trip.”
Tracey, whose ceiling has been left with a black scorch mark, told how the family’s pet dog initially warned them of a problem.
Tracey added: “My dog came upstairs and was walking up and down the hallway. She wouldn’t go downstairs so my partner got up and could hear that the smoke alarm was beeping so he went downstairs and heard it crackling.
“It was on fire and sparking so we turned the power off.”