I’m living in burnt out shell after fire sparked £20k damage – my son’s feet are covered in soot…we can't live like this | The Sun

I’m living in burnt out shell after fire sparked £20k damage – my son’s feet are covered in soot…we can't live like this | The Sun

A DEVASTATED mum has been forced to live in a burnt shell of a house for two months after a fire ripped through her home.

Ami Carnegie claims her housing association has failed to fix any of the £20,000 worth of major damage caused by the terrifying blaze in June.

Melted glass covers the family’s charred driveway, part of the roofing has completely come away and the charred remains of the fence which separates the garden from next door still lie on the lawn.

There are also no windows at the back of the three-bedroom property in Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire, owned by Accent Group.

And the smoke damage inside is so severe that her two-year-old son Zai's feet turn black within an hour of her mopping the floors.

Ami, who found her home through the council's Home Link bidding system, said: "This has had a huge, huge impact on my life.


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"We're two months on from the fire now and we're still dealing with all of this. Why is it taking so long?"

The part-time swimming teacher said it doesn't matter how many times she mops the floors, her Zai's feet are still black from the leftover soot within an hour.

And the pair are trapped indoors, even during the hot weather, as it is "too dangerous" to venture outside.

"We're stuck," Ami said. "I can clean and clean and clean as much as I damn well please, but the black on the floors won't go.

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"But then we also can't play in the garden because there's no fence and a 60mph road.

"People fly past, and I mean steam past, so it is completely unsafe."

Ami's home went up in flames on June 25 after a blaze started in her neighbour's shed.

It destroyed both gardens, the backs of their homes and next door's car, causing an estimated £20,000 worth of damage.

Recalling the day of the fire, the 29-year-old said: "I was sitting watching TV with my son when there was a bang, bang, bang at the door and someone was ringing my doorbell.

"I thought, 'what the hell is going on?' so I opened the door and this guy I've never met in my life was shouting, 'get out, get out, your shed is on fire'.

"I ran outside and saw all the smoke so was like, 'oh my God, oh my God' so I rushed back inside and got my son then got out.

"The fire escalated very quickly. There were high winds and it was a hot day. There were several explosions."


Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service deemed the incident an accident, and Home Group put Ami and her son up in a hotel for two nights.

But the mum claims little has been done since then to fix the broken windows, sheds, fencing and flooring, or any of the rest of the damage.

"They are really dragging their heels," Ami said.

"The whole frame of my downstairs window is melted and the glass completely shattered, and my upstairs window frame is melted and the glass cracked.

"The soffit, connecting the roof to the wall of the house, is all gone completely, as is the fencing.

"There is also melted glass all over the drive still, and the driveway where my neighbour's car exploded is bowed down.

"And there was a melted drain cover in my back garden which was replaced, but they installed the wrong size so now it's a trip hazard."

It took me 10 years of bidding to get this house so I really don't want to leave

Ami said she has made repeated complaints to Accent and the council, but has repeatedly been told "help is coming soon".

And while she could apply to move house to escape, she is desperate to stay in this one as it's "perfect" for what she needs.

"It took me 10 years of bidding to get this house so I really don't want to leave," she said.

"This is my home, my forever home, so I just want everything fixed."

A spokesperson for Accent Group said: "Firstly, we want to apologise again to Ms Carnegie for the time it has taken so far in resolving this.

"This is not the level of service our customers should expect from us, or that we aspire to deliver.

"Alternative accommodation was immediately offered to Ms Carnegie, and this offer still stands.

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Regardless of this, we are working with Ms Carnegie, and residents at neighbouring properties, to urgently resolve the repairs so she and her family can feel happy and comfortable in their home once again.

"Furthermore, we are reviewing the case and will take forward identified learnings to ensure our service continues to improve."

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