‘My grandsons don’t have a bedroom’: Council left family in house ruined by fire

A council has left a family-of-six in a council house without repair for almost two months, after one of the rooms was burnt out by a fire.

Jane Philby, 53, of South Oak Road, Streatham, lives with her two daughters and three grandchildren in a three-bedroom house.

On April 30, a fire broke out in one of the bedrooms that her daughter Zoe Philby, 30, and her two sons, William, aged eight, and Alfie, aged six, sleep in.

From left, damages to the walls, ceiling and window, and damage from the socket believed to be the cause of the fire (Picture: Jane Philby)

Jane said: “The fire started at around 11.30am. Thank God it was early.

“We all had to get out the house and call the fire brigade.

“When they came we were told the fire was started by faulty wiring to electrical sockets. I have been complaining to Lambeth council about that for seven years.”

The broken window and melted window frame that has still not been replaced (Picture: Jane Philby)

Jane explained that the council had sent electricians to look at the wiring after her previous complaints, but after they explained the problem to her no one came back to fix it.

She said: “They told me, if we turn the sockets off, electricity is still running.

“Now the window frame is melted and the walls are ruined.”

Contents of the room damaged by the fire (Picture: Jane Philby)

After the fire, the council moved Jane and her family into a Premier Inn in Clapham for two days before they were told to return home.

She said: “My 30-year-old daughter and her two sons have been sleeping in the front room. Three bedrooms now down to two bedrooms and it was already so overcrowded.

“I’m just so disappointed. These two little boys don’t have a bedroom.

“It feels like a joke now. Even last week someone was meant to come and measure the window frame to get a new one fitted, and no one turned up.”

From left, Lucy, Nancy, Zoe, William, Alfie and Jane Philby  (Picture: Jane Philby)

A spokesman for Lambeth council said: “Lambeth has more than 33,000 council homes, and our priority is ensuring all of these are safe and well-maintained for our tenants.

“Council staff have been supporting Jane, and working to restore her home, since the fire at the property. We are sorry for any disruption or frustration this has caused Jane and her family.

“The power supply was restored to the rest of the property, and repairs to the room affected by the fire have nearly been completed.

“The new window and door required for the room have had to be ordered in, and they will be installed as soon as they are delivered.”

Pictured top: From left, Lucy, Nancy, Zoe, William, and Alfie (Picture: Jane Philby)

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