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Family home damaged after smoke alarms fail
11:00am Thursday 1st August 2013 in News
A FAMILY claim they were forced to move out of their home after faulty smoke alarms failed to warn them a fire had started.
Fortunately the King family, including a 33-week pregnant mum and two young children, were able to get out it time.
But furious father Darren has criticised Cotman Housing Association for putting his family at risk and failing to help since the fire.
Firefighters were called to their terraced home in Ventura Drive, Colchester, on Sunday evening after the family noticed smoke coming out through the floor and the roof.
Firefighters tackled the blaze, which started in a cavity wall, putting out the flames about an hour and 40 minutes later.
But many of their belongings were ruined by the smoke and subsequent rain leaking into the home after the roof was damaged by the fire.
The family have also been to hospital after experiencing problems because of the fumes.
Mr King said: “We spoke to the fire brigade and my wife has seen the midwife and they said it is not safe for us to be in the house because of all the particles from the smoke.
“I am disgusted with the housing association.
“Someone came around on Friday and said the smoke alarms were faulty and they would put in a report and since the fire they haven’t been helpful at all.
“You don’t realise when the fire is going up a cavity wall and now we can’t stay here because it is too dangerous.”
The family, including Darren, mum Jacey, six-year-old Jaden and four-year-old Harry, are currently staying with Jacey’s parents at their home in Abbots Road but think it could be weeks until they return.
Darren is also using up all his holiday time from work, which was supposed to be saved for the baby’s birth, to deal with the aftermath of the fire.
He added: “The house now needs a total renovation, soft furnishings and everything.
“My wife is 33 weeks pregnant and can’t breathe in the fumes but the housing association are not interested in finding us somewhere to stay.”
A spokesman for Cotman Housing Association said: "The Association fully appreciates the concerns of the family and is doing all we can to ensure their housing needs are addressed and their home is repaired quickly in order to enable them to move back in at the earliest opportunity."
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