A fundraiser has been set up to help a Ramsgate mum and her children after their flat was engulfed by fire last month.
Gemma Warren and her children, aged one and 13, had gone to the local shop on January 26 but when they returned their home was ablaze.
Two crews from Kent Fire and Rescue Service attended the blaze at the flat in Balliemore Court, off Argyll Drive, and there were no injuries with Gemma even managing to rescue her cat.
But the fire, which is believed to have been caused by a phone that was on charge, has devastated the family’s home through fire, smoke and water damage.
Gemma, 39, said: “I’d just put the phone on charge and then we popped to the shop. When we came back the flat was on fire.
“My neighbours were outside and they said they heard a bang before it went up. I left the kids outside and went in to find my cat, she was hiding and must have been terrified, but I got her out safe.
“Most of our things that were in the front room and the kitchen are gone, whatever wasn’t burnt has smoke and water damage. Stuff in the hallway is all melted. All my little girl’s birthday and Christmas presents were in the front room and they have melted which was very sad to look at.
“The birthday presents for my son were ok as they were in my bedroom which was barely touched except by the smoke.”
The flat in inhabitable and housing association Riverside has placed the family in alternative accommodation.
Gemma said: “Riverside has been amazing. They put us in the Travelodge, where everyone was brilliant and we could not have asked for more, and then put us up in an Air B&B.
“We don’t really know what’s happening next but it looks like it will take a while because there is so much damage.”
Gemma, who praised the quick actions of the fore service,` has lived in the block for more than 20 years and moved from the ground floor to the current flat in 2011.
She said: “I have been there for a long time and have lots of friends. People all came out and offered to help and everyone was really nice so if we have to go to another flat I really hope we can stay in this area.”
Because the family lost so many of their possessions, friend Lucy King has set up a fundraiser to try and help them replace some essentials.
Gemma said: “We don’t need to buy things yet as we are in the Air B&B but Lucy set it up as she wants to help when we do need to replace things.”
On the fundraising page Lucy says: “Everything in the flat has been destroyed by either fire, smoke or water and they’re going to need to replace the entire flat, unfortunately she’d just bought a brand new cooker and washing machine and now everything needs to be bought again.”
That family must be suffering anguish right now. I do empathise. Just clicked on the donations link, but I will NOT have cookies on my computer. Is there any other way to donate? Where can I send a cheque to?
Claim on your household insurance, simple.
I,m guessing they probably didnt have insurance sadly !
Insurance, in the scheme of things, isn’t too expensive, compared with the cost of replacing your home contents.
Spending a bit on insurance should be high on the list of what to spend your money on.
Basic contents insurance for a flat can be had for £50. Thats £1 a week. Far less than the cost of the mobile phone that was left on charge . . .
As a Consultant to Local Authorities 30 years ago I suggested all social housing should have Contents Insurance as part of their rent, did they take it up, guess?
People who can rent a property are generally mature enough to make a decision on whether they insure the contents or not. It’s not the State’s job to do everything for them.
They decide how far up their list of priorities insurance is and then make a decision. I’m just hoping this sorry tale prompts others to push it a bit further up their own list of priorities.
It’s the same principle as those who go on holiday, have an accident and then ask for donations to pay for treatment as they didn’t bother getting travel insurance.