An Eastbourne family are appealing for help after their home was engulfed by flames on Sunday night (April 17).
The blaze started just after 8pm when a candle was accidently knocked over, setting a duvet alight.
Mother Mandy Clarke and her partner Rob Finniss were at home when the blaze broke out and despite their attempts douse the fire, it quickly spread across the bedroom.
Rob said, “I came into the bedroom within about four rings of the fire alarm and a few moments later it had just gone up. It only took about 10 seconds.
“I tried to put it out, but it had spread to the mattress and started giving off thick smoke so I had to stop and get out. I was treated for smoke inhalation.”
While the family was able to get free of the house once the fire took hold, most of their possessions, including their phones, IDs and wallets, were destroyed.
Mandy said, “I suppose we are lucky in a way. We all got out and we’re all alive.”
Mandy also praised her neighbours for their help, both during the fire and for their support afterwards – offering food and clothing for her children.
She said, “They’ve been amazing. All the neighbours have been so much help.”
Cllr Harun Miah, who represents Shinewater Ward at Eastbourne Borough Council also praised the community’s response to the fire.
He said, “It’s one of the best things about living in Shinewater, the way people help each other. I’ve lived here for 25-years now and I’m proud to be part of a community like this.”
Cllr Miah promised that he and his fellow Shinewater councillors would look into the family’s case and try to help.
The family now need to clear their house before renovation work can begin. But with so much of their house and belongings damaged they need support to empty the property as well as help sorting and storing what remains.
Rob said, “What we really need is a skip and a lock-up somewhere, where we could keep our stuff until we can get back in there.”
Anyone who can help to clear the house or store the family’s remaining possessions can contact Mandy on 07562641588.
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