A despondent Declan Macey (Jason Merrells) is to torch Home Farm this Christmas, little knowing that sister Megan (Gaynor Faye) is trapped inside the burning building.
In dramatic scenes to be shown on Christmas Day, a concerned Charity will check on Declan’s welfare, only to find him brooding over his misfortunes in a most alarming fashion.
“She finds him holding a can of paraffin and he’s about to set fire to Home Farm with himself in it,” reveals actress Emma Atkins, who plays Charity. “He feels he could end his days there and then. It’s all become too much for him.”
Pretty soon, Declan has set his home ablaze with Charity’s efforts to douse the flames coming to nothing. In the end, however, Declan has second thoughts about ending his life and makes an escape bid with Charity in tow.
“At first, Charity thinks they should make a run for it so that Declan is not held responsible for the fire,” continues Atkins. “They’re sat in this layby discussing how she could possibly help him get away with it. But Declan’s still turmoil. What they end up doing is rushing back to Home Farm where they pretend that they don’t know anything about the fire. But as the situation unravels, they realise that there’s a female trapped inside.”
What Declan soon discovers is that Megan has battled her way inside after calling the fire brigade. Now her life is in danger as the flames take hold. “Declan is obviously beside himself with guilt because he caused the fire to begin with.”
And what was it like for the actors filming the intense scenes? “I’ve never worked before in conditions that are so hard,” admits Atkins. “They were two of the most challenging days that I’ve ever had on the show. But it’s going to look immense. A replica of the exterior of Home Farm was built for the fire, but you’d think it was the same building. It was unbelievable – and so unfortunate that we then had to go and burn it!”