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Burton family left devastated by Christmas Day fire could be waiting a YEAR to go home

Trent and Dove say they are working to find accommodation for blaze-hit family while their house is repaired

A Burton family who lost everything in a Christmas Day fire were left devastated after being told it could be a year before they can return to their home.

Amanda Pullen, 29, was at her sister's home on Christmas Day when she received a phone call from her next-door neighbour to warn her that her house was alaze.

She immediately headed back to the house in Bronte Close, knowing that her four children and ex-partner were all in the house at the time the fire broke out. Marcus, 10, Olivia, nine, Sienna, two, Lance, one, and their dad, Gavin Morris, 31, were all unharmed in the blaze.

 

She says that she was told by representatives from Trent and Dove on Boxing Day that it could be a year before the family are able to return to their home.

 

Amanda Pullen and her four children are currently living at Amanda's friend's house

 

The housing company offered her temporary accommodation at local hotels, but she felt that, with four children to look after, a hotel would not be suitable.

Instead she has been offered shelter by her best friend, Kerry Clarke, at her home in nearby Rowton Street and the family are currently residing in spare bedrooms, while Ms Clarke's children are away.

Amanda says she was told on Boxing Day by a representative from Trent and Dove that it could be a year until their home is fit to live in. Staff at the housing association, however, say they are looking to find suitable accommodation for the family as quickly as possible.

She said: "Someone from Trent and Dove came out to the house and told us that it could take up to a year to get it back to normal. I do know they have been working hard to sort it out, but we just want to go home.

"The person I spoke to on Boxing Day said they weren't sure how long it might take to fix all the damage to the house, so it would be a few weeks or it could be a year.

"We all just want to go back to normal."

The mum-of-four says that she hopes they will have somewhere to stay soon, as her youngest daughter, two-year-old Sienna, is struggling with the fact she cannot go home.

She said: "Sienna has hardly slept since Christmas. She hates not being in her own bed.

"Marcus and Olivia are old enough to understand what has happened and understand why we can't go home yet, but the little ones don't.

Picture: Yasmin Gunston House fire on Bronte Close in Horninglow Pictured:Back of the house

 

"Sienna has been asking me to go home, and I keep having to tell her no. It's heartbreaking to see because she gets so upset and cries every time I tell her no.

"I want to be able to take her home and cheer her up, but I can't."

Amanda's house is owned and managed by Trent and Dove Housing, which has almost 5,800 properties across East Staffordshire, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire.

The company offers family homes, sheltered accommodation for the elderly and shared ownership deals for people wanting to get onto the property ladder.

A spokesman for the Burton-based housing association said: "Trent and Dove, in partnership with colleagues at East Staffordshire Borough Council, have been working hard to resolve the family's housing situation throughout the festive season.

"Whilst temporary accommodation was offered after the fire, the family circumstances meant that this was not suitable. Our colleagues from the council have spoken again to the family today and that remains the case.

Picture: Yasmin Gunston House fire on Bronte Close in Horninglow Pictured:Front of the house

 

"We have identified an alternate property to offer Miss Pullen, and she has verbally accepted - subject to viewing - and we aim to make this property available to the family as soon as possible.

"The comment relating to the length of time of re-housing was sadly taken out of context. The length of time required to repair this property is out of our control owing to the extensive damage and the need to involve external insurers. We have advised the family that it may be some time before the property is habitable again, however this was not meant to suggest that the family would be without accommodation whilst their property was repaired.

"Moving forward, Trent and Dove will continue to liaise with the family to ensure that their housing situation is resolved as quickly as possible."

 

Amanda has praised her best friend for putting up the family in their time of need, calling her an 'unsung hero'.

She said: "Kerry has been amazing. We have known each other since we were about 4 or 5 and she has always watched my back.

"It's so good of her to take us all in when we have nowhere else to go.

Picture: Yasmin Gunston House fire on Bronte Close in Horninglow Pictured:Front of the house

"Trent and Dove offered to put us up in a hotel, which is very good of them, but with four children it's just not plausible. Marcus is a 10-year-old boy and he would be like a monkey climbing on everything!

"We're so grateful to Kerry for putting us up. She's been incredible.

"She's the unsung hero in all of this."

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