A FAMILY of 12 whose lives were turned upside down by a house fire are appealing for help in finding a new home.
The Dumpleton family were lucky to be alive after fire ravaged their home in Finedon Road, Irthlingborough, last Friday.
But since then their bad luck has continued, with Caroline and Dan Dumpleton unable to find temporary accommodation for their 10 children and being forced to stay in two caravans at Billing Aquadrome.
Mrs Dumpleton, 36, said: “A lot of estate agents and landlords are saying there are too many of us and they are worried about wear and tear on the carpets.
“We want to appeal to anybody who might be able to help us or who has a house we can rent. We are not an unruly family, we’ve just had an unfortunate accident. We’ve even tried pubs and hotels but we can’t find anywhere big enough or that will take us.
“I hope somebody will come along and say they’ve got somewhere we can stay, even if it’s as small as a three-bedroom house – we just want to be together.
“Luckily we got out of the house together as a family and we want to stay as a family.
“We’re still in the process of seeing what damage has been done to the house and then we’ll get a quote for how long it will take to fix.
“We will be able to move back in at some point but that probably won’t be for between nine months and a year.”
One of the children raised the alarm after she saw flames in her bedroom.
Mr Dumpleton acted quickly to get his wife and Charlene, 16, Chloe, 15, Alex, 12, Ashley, 11, Sophie, nine, Shantelle, six, Harrison, five, Holly, four, Ruby, two, and Ellie-Mae, eight-weeks, out of their two-storey detached house before flames ripped through the entire building.
Most of their possessions were ruined by smoke and fire and the house they have lived in for 12 years was gutted.
None of the family suffered any injuries but Mr Dumpleton and Ashley, who should have been celebrating his 11th birthday, were taken to hospital as a precaution.
Mrs Dumpleton said: “It was Ashley’s birthday on the day of the fire and it was mine on Sunday. It was very hard as a mum to watch my son lying on a hospital bed on his birthday, but he said it was the best he’d ever had and kept giving me smiles – it broke my heart.
“The people at Billing Aquadrome have gone out of their way to help us and find us two caravans next to each other but it has been very hard.
“Most people in an average house have not got a lot of room and we’re living in two caravans. Not everybody has even got a bed here – I’ve got two kids in most beds and some of us have to sleep on the floor.”
Mrs Dumpleton said she and Mr Dumpleton, 39, were facing a new problem with getting their children to school or nursery on time, as well as trying to hold down full-time jobs.
She added: “How are we supposed to get seven of our children to school and one to nursery in Irthlingborough when we only have two cars?
“My husband and I both work full-time, too. He works for BT and I run a business called Bodygem in Kettering. It probably means we won’t be able to take Ruby to nursery.”
Call 07955 349659 if you can offer the family any help.