Mother Kathleen Carter devastated as thieves steal belongings saved from Lavender Hill house fire

Enfield Independent: Mother Kathleen Carter outside her home devastated by fire in January Mother Kathleen Carter outside her home devastated by fire in January

A distraught mother whose family home was destroyed in a fire has had her belongings stolen while Enfield Homes cleared the property - ten months after the blaze. 

Kathleen Carter, her husband Ray and her three children were forced to leave their home in Lavender Hill after the fire in January.

According to the 47-year-old mother, housing provider Enfield Homes only started clearing her home of 15 years on Saturday, November 17 – ten months to the day after the fire devastated her home.

She claims staff left the family’s only belongings saved from the fire – including a fridge, freezer, washing machine and microwave, in the front garden where they were stolen.

Mrs Carter, a switchboard operator at Chase Farm Hospital, said: “They cleared the house and I didn’t know anything about it.

“They were supposed to make arrangements for me to come along because I believe I am entitled to at least be there. I am supposed to be told and I wasn’t and my stuff has been stolen – we have nothing left.”

The mother claims the family of five continue to pay £450-a-month rent to Enfield Homes, despite the fact they have been living with Mrs Carter’s parents in Lavender Hill since the fire.

Mrs Carter, whose children are aged 22, 20 and 17, also accused Enfield Homes of failing to relocate her and her family while repair work is being carried out.

She added: “I have said from day one that we have to go back there – it’s our family home – our children grew up there. The whole thing has been tragic but from the minute it happened we needed to go home.

“That’s my main gripe – ten months down the line and they haven’t started any repairs at all.”

Although the family managed to escape the fire, which was started by a cigarette and destroyed both floors and the roof, a pet dog and cat died in the blaze.

She wanted to find the pets' remains to carry out a burial, but believes their bodies have been discarded during the clear-up.

She said she has hand-delivered four letters to Enfield Homes as well as calling the authority to discuss the work, but she has been kept in the dark about the state of their home.

Enfield Homes was set up in 2008 by Enfield Borough Council to manage its homes and housing services.

The Enfield Independent is waiting for a comment from Enfield Homes.

Comments (2)

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1:46pm Tue 27 Nov 12

rosie1970 says...

Whilst i am sorry that this family has suffered, i have certain questions, i.e why were they allowed to smoke in a rented property, did they have smoke alarms, i thought all rented properties had to have them by law, and how is it that a family of 5 all at working age are renting a house on the nicer side of enfield for £450 per month, wish i could !
Whilst i am sorry that this family has suffered, i have certain questions, i.e why were they allowed to smoke in a rented property, did they have smoke alarms, i thought all rented properties had to have them by law, and how is it that a family of 5 all at working age are renting a house on the nicer side of enfield for £450 per month, wish i could ! rosie1970

2:29pm Tue 27 Nov 12

robbybox says...

I have begged Enfield Council 3 times in 5 years for a council 2 bed house or flat all to no avail. My wife and 5 year old son are stressed enough in our 1 bed flat (paying £750 a month). A 2 bed flat would cost about £900 to £1000 a month. With bills, food and travel costs this would leave us on the poverty line. Thanks Enfield Council for putting us last on the housing ladder!
I have begged Enfield Council 3 times in 5 years for a council 2 bed house or flat all to no avail. My wife and 5 year old son are stressed enough in our 1 bed flat (paying £750 a month). A 2 bed flat would cost about £900 to £1000 a month. With bills, food and travel costs this would leave us on the poverty line. Thanks Enfield Council for putting us last on the housing ladder! robbybox

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