Home » Family lose everything in house fire

Family lose everything in house fire

housefireA HOUSE fire in Haverfordwest this week has left a family homeless and devastated, and with nothing.
Popular residents Damian and Hannah Wilkinson, were not in their living room in the South Court property when the fire started.
Damian explained: “I was in the kitchen when the fire happened and it caught within seconds. I tried to put some water on it but it was quickly out of control and the fire brigade arrived about five minutes later, by which time the whole front room had been gutted.”
When asked what had started the fire he said he was not completely sure.
He described the aftermath: “We are currently staying at a friend’s house and waiting for the Council to provide us with temporary accommodation. The house will need an inspection and a structural check before we are able to begin to fix it. Everything in the house is black from the smoke, the walls inside and outside. You can see the the smoke has even melted some of the light fittings, such was the heat coming from the fire”.
Though the family all got out of the property safely, Damian described what had been lost: “We have lost everything. What we have tried to salvage is charred and black. Our first consideration is to make sure the children have everything they need, particularly clothes.”
His wife Hannah said: “One of my children had asked last night if they could go home to their own bed. What do you say to that?”
Fenton School has offered assistance to the family through their family liaison officer.
Damian continued: “We have friends rallying round and have been offered lots of help, but we are still in shock. Right now I don’t really know exactly what we need. We lost a brand new 50-inch Panasonic television as well as a Play Station 3 and a computer. The computer had everything on it, including all our photos of our children as babies, and our wedding photos. Sadly, we had no home insurance, we couldn’t afford it.”
Whilst the community, including the local school, rallies around the family it seems the staff at the Job Centre in Haverfordwest have taken a different approach.
Damian explained his experience the day after the fire when he went to the benefits office to resume his claim for Job Seekers Allowance.
“I explained about the fire. Obviously, I was still in shock and not capable of thinking about work when I am trying to get our lives back together. However, the person that saw me insisted on me bringing in my login details to carry on looking for work.
‘’I explained the situation and that my login details were burnt in the fire. I also said that I had lost my PC that I use to look for work, which actually melted in the fire, and was told I could use the computers in the Job Centre.”
The Herald contacted Job Centre to find out how their staff thought Damien might be able to look for work when his priority and only concern was to re-establish housing for his family and they deferred the case to the Press Office.
A DWP spokesperson said: “It’s clearly a difficult time for Mr Wilkinson, and we appreciate his ability to look for work will be limited in the coming weeks as a result of the fire at his home.
“We hope the situation improves soon. In the meantime we’ll be giving him all the support we can.”