Women’s lives “ruined” by New Cross hostel fire

Photo: Polstar

Two women from the New Cross hostel that was ravaged by fire have said their lives are “ruined”.

The women, who were driven out of their lodgings by a fire that tore through the building on November 18, had to return to the hostel five days later to retrieve their possessions.

The women were two of seven who had to abandon the hostel and wait for fire crews to extinguish the flames before they were able to find out how many of their belongings had survived.

Six crews attended the scene after the fire destroyed the first and second floors and some of the roof. Sam Taylor, a resident of the hostel, said he had around £3,000 of possessions damaged or destroyed, through both fire, and water damage from the fire crew hoses.

Another resident, Nicola Stammer, 28, told the News Shopper: “I’ve been crying since it happened. It’s taken me two years to rebuild my life – in half hour everything’s been ruined.”

Speaking to ELL, a woman, who asked not to be named, said that her adjacent building was undamaged by the fire, but the ground floor had been flooded by water from the fire engines’ hoses.

The charity Thames Reach has taken two of the seven residents of the hostel into accommodation, and given them £50 each to buy food and toiletries. The charity says on its website: “We support homeless, vulnerable and isolated men and women through a range of services, activities and accommodation projects.” The other women have been found accommodation by Lewisham Council.

Advice on fire safety in your home is available from their website at http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/SafetyAtHome.asp

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