Blaze family plea

PUBLISHED: 15:14 21 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:20 10 June 2010

MONDAY, July 21: A WITHYCOMBE single mother of six, whose family lost all their possessions when a fire raged through their Broadpark Road home, is appealing for help to refurnish her council house. Sam Challoner, 33, and her six children, Exmouth Community College studen

A WITHYCOMBE single mother of six, whose family lost all their possessions when a fire raged through their Broadpark Road home, is appealing for help to refurnish her council house.Sam Challoner, 33, and her six children, Exmouth Community College student Kayliegh, 14, and Withycombe Primary School pupils James, 11, Lewis, nine, Spencer, seven, Owen, six and Samuel, three, last week were enjoying a family barbecue in the garden when a fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom.Full-time mum Sam's house contents were not insured and now she and her children are left without furniture, bedding, linen, toys, books or electrical equipment.She desperately needs donations of household goods to help her family get back on its feet."The children have lost absolutely everything. They've no clothes or toys," she said. "Fifteen years of life has gone out of the window. I have to laugh about it, otherwise I'll cry. I can't change what's happened."Youngster Samuel, three, said: "There was a bonfire in mummy's bedroom and I didn't like it."The fire was contained in Sam's bedroom, but acrid smoke has damaged everything the family owns - including Christmas decorations.Since the fire Sam's friends, Fiona Cox, 37, also of Broadpark Road, Natasha Down, 26, of Lympstone, and Renee Richards, 37, of Foreton Road, Exmouth, have been rallying round - clearing out the council house, scrubbing walls blackened by the thick smoke that poured through the home, and mopping up the water after firefighters battled to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the house.The family is staying with Sam's parents, Pat and Ron Gibson, in Midway, Littleham, until their home is habitable.l If you can help Sam's family contact her on 07817232874.


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