A family-of-ten has been left heartbroken after a fire burnt through their home the day before they were scheduled to move in.
Hester and Nathan Hadfield were living in a house where six family members slept in one room, until they got a larger council house in South Reddish, Stockport.
But after several weeks’ worth of renovations to the four-bedroom house, a fire destroyed it all whilst the family were out enjoying a concert on July 5.
Mum-of-eight Hester, whose children are aged between one and 17, described how she had been left heartbroken by the blaze.
She told the the Manchester Evening News : “We spent eight weeks – day and night – doing up the house and making it right for us.
“We had literally just left the property after putting on the kid’s bedding when we got a phone call to say the fire brigade were at our house.
“I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as it was but everything has been damaged.
“I thought some of the stuff might still be standing and I could steam clean it, but the severity of the smoke damage means we have to get rid of everything.
“Smoke has gone into the loft, so they’re going to have to rip out the insulation.
“We’ve spent all our money on doing the place up, it was to be our forever home. All the kids were finally going to have their own room.”
Hester, 38, said she and Nathan, 32, had spent weeks sprucing the place up.
They put in new flooring, doors and lighting, to make the house feel like a home for their family.
She added: “It just feels like it’s been one thing after another.
“The extent of the damage is heart wrenching, all of our money has gone into this house.
“We didn’t get home insurance as I thought I would get that sorted once we moved in – it’s not really something you first think about when you’re in the process of moving in.”
Hester said they have now been told that they won’t be able to move into the new home for months due to the extent of the damage and repairs needed.
They will be continue to live at the three-bedroom council house they were set to leave.
“There’s none of the cladding left at all, the back door has completely gone,” Hester explains.
“Everything needs to be rewired and retested. It’s all just a mess.
“The kids keep asking us what’s happened to their new bedroom and we just feel like we’re going to be stuck in limbo until we’re able to get back.
“We’ve had a few negative comments from people saying that the council will sort the house out for us, but we spent all of our money on this.
“We had the ceilings plastered, new floors and new furniture all put in. It’s gutting that we’ve literally spent everything we had just trying to do it up and make it look nice.”
Much to the appreciation of the family, the blaze has sparked a community effort after neighbour Amy Shaw started a fundraiser to help get them some money to invest back in the house.
The 29-year-old saw the family’s despair and thought she needed to act as she has two young children of her own.
The Morgan Place resident explained that the couple and their eight children have been left with nothing after moving their furnishing into the new property already.
“She had spent weeks doing it up and was ready to move in the next day,” she said.
“She went out to a concert and the house just went up in flames.
“There were so many of them sharing just one bedroom for years in their last place. They have waited for so long for a new house.
“I have lived here for 22 years and I can’t fault the area. Nothing like this has ever happened before.
“It is crazy, it’s shocking. A lot of people are concerned about it, especially the speed in which it went up.”
She said that Hester and husband Nathan have had to borrow toys from people for her children because everything got destroyed.
Neighbour Amy decided to launch the GoFundMe page the morning after the fire to help Hester and the family as much as possible.
The initial goal was £600 but it already has more than £500 in donations – everything will go towards supporting the family to sort out the house.
“I just felt awful for her,” Amy said.
“The kitchen is pretty much gone and there is a lot of damage.
“She was so excited to get going with it. She had spent so much money on it.
“I thought since she had put so much effort in, we had to do something nice for her. She has been really taken aback by it.
“She told me she was in tears because of it [the fundraiser]. I just think it is the right thing to do.”
Hester said she has been “overwhelmed” with the support from her friends and neighbours since the fire.
“It’s one of the things that has helped me get through all of this,” she explained.
“Our close friends have been really supportive and our new neighbours have been really great.
“The fact that they have done of this to help us when they barely know us is just really touching.
“They’ve been checking up on us and ensuring we’ve got what we need and we’ll forever be grateful for what they’ve done.
“Words can’t express how much it means to us. We’re just really thankful for their support and kindness.”
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “At approximately 9pm on July 5 firefighters were called out to a fire at a house at Morgan Place in South Reddish, Stockport.
“Five fire engines from Whitehill, Stockport, Gorton, Moss Side and Wythenshawe Fire Stations attended the scene and extinguished a fire within an out-house and kitchen, using four breathing apparatus, two hose reels and a ventilation fan.
Fire crews were at the scene for several hours.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Stockport Homes Group said: “Following the fire at Morgan Place, the property is currently uninhabitable, pending repairs to the fire damage.
“The family have been advised to stay at [their current property] in the interim period and Stockport Homes Group are working closely with the Hadfield family, to keep them informed and up to date with progress.”