A ‘nightmare’ is coming to an end for a young family who were left homeless when their house was destroyed in a devastating kitchen fire.
Rachel Smeeth and her partner Daniel Casson, 27, braved a raging chip-pan fire to rescue toddler Katie-Louise and new baby Matthew at their house on Sussex Close in Church last month.
Although the family escaped the blaze unharmed, they were left homeless and with no possessions other than the clothes on their backs.
Now the family say that their life is finally getting back on track after moving into a new home - just opposite their burnt out old house.
Rachel, 22, said: “We have managed to get a new house and we have managed to get some furniture from a couple of charities.
“It’s wonderful. A bit hectic and everything’s all over the place but it’s really great.
“When I think about everything that’s happened it does seem like ages ago but when I think about the actual fire it feels really fresh like I’m right back there.
“It has been a bit of a nightmare.”
Baby Matthew was just three weeks old at the time of the fire, which occurred at around 1.30am on March 19, having been born prematurely.
For the next two weeks the family were homeless and stayed with a friend while they waited to be relocated by Hyndburn Homes.
Rachel said that her daughter Katie-Louise is thrilled to be in the new home.
She said: “She was a bit unsettled the first couple of nights but then she got a carpet and curtains in her room and now she loves it.”
However, three-year-old Katie-Louise, who remembers the fire vividly, has since developed a stutter.
Rachel said: “She remembers the fire well, she talks about it quite a lot. She might see a toy in a shop and say ‘that’s like the one I used to have that got burnt up’.
“She seems to be coping well, but the only thing is that it’s affected her speech, her stutter’s come back.
“She’s going to speech therapy at the moment.”
Rachel thanked the strangers who supported them through a crowdfunding page, which raised more than £900 to kit them out in their new home.
She said: “The money’s come in really useful, we were so grateful for it.”