Child with lighter is blamed for blaze

PUBLISHED: 07:13 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:23 24 May 2010

Samantha Trent and her son survey the damage.

Samantha Trent and her son survey the damage.

A FAMILY home has been left in ruins after a fire started in a child's bedroom. Josie Matthews and her sister Samantha Trent had to rush upstairs and pull five children out of their bedrooms as the blaze started to spread through their Weston home. They m

A FAMILY home has been left in ruins after a fire started in a child's bedroom.Josie Matthews and her sister Samantha Trent had to rush upstairs and pull five children out of their bedrooms as the blaze started to spread through their Weston home.They managed to slam the bedroom door shut to stop the flames destroying the downstairs of the building but the inferno still managed to render the house, in Windwhistle Circus on the Bournville estate, unliveable.It is thought the fire was started by one of the youngsters playing with a cigarette lighter or matches. Nobody was injured.But Josie and her fiancee Tony were outraged when their housing association told them they would all have to live in the partially damaged living room while the semi-detached house was repaired.Raglan Housing Association has now offered the family a two-bedroom house on the Bournville estate while the house is repaired after it reassessed the fire damage.Tony said: "We couldn't believe it when were told we would have to stay in the living room. It was outrageous."We accept the fire was caused by a young child who had somehow got hold of a lighter, but that's not the issue."I can't believe Raglan would treat its tenants in such a way. A council surveyor came and declared the place unliveable and rightly so."Samantha said: "Something should be provided. The kids have lost everything, all their blankets and beds have burnt to the ground."Raglan's regional director, Phil Sweet, said: "As soon as it was established the residents would require temporary housing we tried to find some. There wasn't anything suitable in the area and we thought a bed and breakfast for the size of the family would be unsuitable."But through the council we were able to find somewhere for them to live. Hopefully the work will only take a couple of weeks but we cannot promise anything.

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