Desperate family of pensioner burnt out of home appeal for help (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Call for help as pensioner’s uninsured house to cost over £40,000 to repair after devastating fire in Chingford
Jason Clayton on the right with brothers Zach and Billy Clayton clearing up the debris at their mother's house in Bluehouse Road, Chingford
The family of a 74-year-old woman whose uninsured home was gutted by fire are to call on the community in a desperate bid to help pay for the repairs.
The fire which ripped through the first floor of Irene Clayton’s house in Bluehouse Road, Chingford, on Tuesday afternoon, is believed to have been caused by the “careless exposure of cigarettes,” according to the Fire Service.
Mrs Clayton is now staying with her son, Jason, 44, at his home in nearby New Road, Chingford. He told the Guardian: "It’s got to be totally gutted. The roof’s got to come off, the windows have been warped and the plaster has been blown off the walls."
Mr Clayton is one of five sons who are all in the building trade and who have already started work on the property.
He estimates the repairs will cost more than £40,000, which the family cannot afford.
“It’s out of our pockets now. It’s a bit too much for us to manage at the minute to find that much money.”
The family are now appealing to the community to help them raise money to get Mrs Clayton back home again as they plan to hold a fundraising event in the street in the near future.
Mrs Clayton had gone to walk her dog when the fire started and was spotted by a neighbour who called the fire brigade 12.45pm.
Twenty-one firefighters brought the blaze under control by 1.45pm.
Mr Clayton says his mum collapsed in the street when she saw the fire on her return.
He said: “She can’t even walk in the house now. She keeps saying she feels ashamed of herself.”
Mr Clayton is just glad his mum was not hurt in the fire.
He said: “As long as she’s alright. You can replace a house, but you can’t replace your mum.”
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