Family return home after fire
A family are celebrating returning to their home following a fire that swept through a row of houses in Merstham last year.
The fire, which started in a neighbouring property just over one year ago, spread through four houses. One of the homes devastated by the fire was owned by Raven Housing Trust.
Following extensive repairs work by their housing association, including a new roof, new kitchen, rewiring and complete redecoration, the couple and their daughter are now over the moon to be able to get home and settle back into family life.
The family were left with nothing following the blaze, but thankfully a local support group set up a donation hub for clothes, food and household items, and a fundraising site was set up, raising over £11,000 in just two days to help the families affected by the fire.
Mum said: “Until this happens to you, you have no idea of the cost to replace just basic items in a home. We have been really lucky; neighbours and friends in the Merstham area clubbed together, raising funds to help all of us affected by the fire, so this will help us refurnish our home. We are just so happy to be home.”
To celebrate the family being able to return home, Raven Housing Trust organised a small ribbon cutting ceremony, which their daughter thoroughly enjoyed.
Their daughter added: “The fire was really scary, and I was sad, but everyone was super kind and helped us lots. I am so happy to be back in our home now.”
Following the fire in June 2021, the family were offered alternative accommodation but chose to stay with relatives while work was carried out, wishing to return home to their family and friends in the community rather than move somewhere new.
Sue Young, Head of Housing Services at Raven Housing Trust, said: “We’re so happy to see them move back home. It’s been a traumatic and unsettling time for them, and to see them back in the family home is wonderful.”
“On a practical note, it has highlighted the importance of our customers ensuring they have contents insurance to cover their belongings and rent in the case of an emergency such as this. Unfortunately, at the time of the fire the family did not have contents insurance, so they are now keen to urge other tenants to make sure the same doesn’t happen to them.”