Janet Airey was a churchgoer who had five sons. Her sons Jim and Jack Airey both enlisted in the war. In November 1915, when The Woolpack caught fire, Janet was one of the people on the scene and explained to Hugo Dawson and Maggie Sugden that Ava and Iris Bainbridge were still inside. Hugo, reminded of his late wife and son, raced into the fire to Janet's horror, and Maggie went in after him. Ava was killed in the fire but Iris made a full recovery. Janet allowed Iris, Sarah Bainbridge and Percy Bainbridge's other child to move in with them. Following the fire, Janet began getting along with Maggie, and even put her son Fred forward to help on the farm whilst Hugo recovered.