Mum and kids have ‘only the clothes on our backs’ after fleeing fire via window Leave a comment


A desperate family has been left with “only the clothes on our backs” after a devastating fire at their home.

Jessica Howston and her three children had to escape out of a window after the blaze took hold of their home.

The February 25 inferno broke out on the ground floor of the Newtown house in Reading, Berks.

They lost all their possessions in the blaze which the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service believe was caused by an electrical fault.

The family have now had to move out of the home and are likely to be away for at least six months after the devastating incident.

Jessica told BerkshireLive: “It was just terrifying. We were in one of the bedrooms and I realised we had to get out.

“The house was full of smoke, you couldn’t see to the bottom of the stairs.



Jessica Howston
All four had to escape out of a window after the blaze took hold of their home

“I think I went into some sort of survival mode and we managed to get out of a window onto the roof of an extension.

“One of our neighbours helped us out of the back garden and we were then able to see the ambulance staff.”

She added she had a “meltdown” after ensuring everyone was safe.

None of the family were injured in the incident, but the children have found the aftermath extremely traumatic.



Fire
Jessica’s family lost lost all their possessions in the blaze

The family is currently staying with Jessica’s parents in Reading.

The home in Newtown was rented and the estate agent in charge has offered the family a temporary home.

However, Jessica says the home is “totally unsuitable” for the family and is furious at Reading Borough Council at the lack of help given.

She said: “I contacted the council about emergency housing and they just washed their hands of it.



Fire
Jessica has thanked the ‘fantastic’ fire service and her well wishers

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“They said because even though we’d lost our home and all our possessions after a fire which wasn’t our fault, it was down to the estate agent to house us.

“The home we’ve been offered is not suitable for us, my three-year-old is expected to walk up massive flights of metal steps to get into it.

“We’re staying with my parents for now, which is far from ideal. We could really do with some help from the council.”

One of Jessica’s neighbours has set up a Justgiving page for the family.

She said: “I’m very thankful for all the help we’ve received.

“The fire service has been brilliant and we have had so many donations for me and the children.”

Reading Borough Council has been approached for comment.





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