Family of 8 left homeless after fire

A family of eight in Milner Estate, East London, needs help after their home burnt down on July 14 this year.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and a member of the family said authorities were still investigating the matter.

Johanna Kirton, 59, who is a grandmother to a four month-old baby, reported that the incident took place at 6am. “We were all asleep when my daughter shouted, ‘Mom the house is burning’.”

The Kirtons have been without a proper roof over their heads ever since, though a local church did donate a tent.

“Every time it rains, it’s flooding here by me,” Johanna said. “I’m asthmatic and my husband is diabetic. I’ve got a small baby which is my daughter’s child. “We are eight in the house with no help from anybody, I’ve got no income coming in except for my husband’s disability. “I can’t make it and I can’t get anywhere. I’m really in need of food, clothing and household furniture.”

With the seasonal wet weather, the tent also leaks and the family hasn’t been able to cook as they normally make a fire inside the house.

“We have buckets all around and the bedding is soaking wet.” The family has had to rely on a soup kitchen for meals and a friend who lives across the street.

Anna Marie Van As, who has been a neighbour and family friend to the Kirtons for the past 27 years, said: “I don’t really know how her house burnt down. I was asleep but when I woke up there was screaming and I opened my door and saw the whole house was on fire.”

“By the time the fire brigade came, it was too late,” said Johanna.

The family lost most of their possessions in the fire including ID documents. “We did get some clothes but some are too big or too small,” she said.

To make donations, contact 079860-8025.

UP IN SMOKE: A family lost everything when their Milner Estate home burnt down in July this year. Image: REUTERS/ GENE BLEVINS


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