'It's haunting me' - Family lose everything in house fire just before Christmas
PUBLISHED: 11:30 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 13 December 2018
A mum-of-two has said she is finding it hard to sleep after her family's possessions were destroyed in a house fire.
Ella Colleran, 26, her husband Andrew and their two young children are appealing for help from the community after a sudden fire took away their home and everything inside it.
The fire, on Tuesday December 4, ripped through the Melton home the family were renting – causing the kitchen ceiling and back-end of the house to collapse and resulting in wide-spread damage to their possessions.
Two fire crews were called to douse the blaze, and the Collerans are all safe and well.
But they have been left with almost nothing, fearing that some of their most precious memories could be gone.
Mrs Colleran said: “To be honest I’m thinking about my memory boxes that I have for the kids.
“It has everything in there, the bands they wore in the hospital when they were born that sort of thing, I have no idea what condition they are in.
“They could still be in my room but we haven’t been allowed in the house to check, they could be gone.”
The children were, thankfully, away the night of the fire, and the couple had been out for a meal.
On returning Mr Colleran went to the toilet, passing the family’s storage room.
He noticed that the frame of the door was completely black and opened it to investigate.
“It just went up,” said Mrs Colleran. “He opened the door and obviously the oxygen got to the fire and it just went. It felt like an age but it can’t have been that long before the firemen turned up and managed to put it out.
“They were amazing they deserve a huge thank you.”
The family and their black Labrador Murphy were looking forward to Christmas and an upcoming birthday but now they are left facing a very bleak Christmas.
Mrs Colleran said: “Everything has been ruined. Smoke rises up and everything that wasn’t burnt might as well have been because it has been totally ruined.
“We don’t have contents insurance, we never thought something like this would happen to us.
“All our Christmas presents are gone so are my son’s birthday presents.”
She continued: “We were allowed back into the house for a short time to take one bag of clothes, they’ve been through the wash about six times but they still absolutely stink.
“It’s traumatic too because the smell reminds us of that night.
“I can’t sleep, it is completely haunting me, the stress of trying to find somewhere to live.”
The family say the support from their local community has been overwhelming.
Every day people are arriving with car loads of clothes, toys and books for the family – while a friend has set-up a JustGiving page to pull together some cash for them to find new accommodation before the start of the festive season.
“I can’t thank them enough,” said Mrs Colleran.
“We work so hard throughout the year to give our kids everything we can at Christmas but all I really want is my family to be here and be healthy – we are lucky enough to have that.”
To donate to the family visit their JustGiving page.