KIND-HEARTED residents are doing their bit to get a family home for Christmas after a fire ripped through their house.
Shocked Kim Salmons feared the magical time of year would turn into a nightmare for her and her three children after her home was destroyed in a Sunday morning blaze.
The 29-year-old went out of the house for 10 minutes. But she returned to find her home, in Pickering Grove, Hartlepool, engulfed in smoke.
Firefighters put the fire out but couldn’t stop the whole of the upstairs, including all the bedrooms and the family’s belongings, being totally destroyed. The living room and kitchen survived the blaze.
Kim, along with her 10-week-old daughter Taliesha Malone, has been forced to move in with a relative while her two other children, Kadie O’Connor, six, and Rian O’Connor, nine, are living with their dad in Peterlee.
Kim, who is unemployed, is now preparing for months of hard work.
But she could move back in to her home of two years before Christmas.
Since the fire, on the morning of Sunday, November 27, generous residents have come forward with clothes, curtains, bedding, paint and decorating equipment for the family.
And Carpet World, in Hartlepool, has handed over free carpets.
Kim, who lives in the house with partner Mark Malone, 31, says she has been “touched” by the huge generosity of people. “It’s just been amazing,” she said.
“Mark put something on Facebook asking if anybody can help us with any paint or anything else and it had more than 90 comments.
“People have just been so generous, I can’t believe how helpful they have been.”
Kim is spending hours every day working in the house.
The family lost nearly everything which was upstairs and clothes, televisions, toys, beds and furniture will need replacing.
Looking back on the moment she discovered the fire, Kim said: “It’s heartbreaking to see your house like that.
“I didn’t see flames but as I opened the front door there was just thick black smoke in front of me.”
Luckily Kim’s two dogs, Gizmo and Bella, escaped the blaze.
Kim added: “I would sleep in the living room on the sofa if I could, I just want to be back in. “The problem is there is no electricity.
“The fuse box was destroyed in the fire, so as soon as it gets dark we have to leave.
“There isn’t a good time for your house to be gutted in a fire.
“But this happened at the worst possible time.”
Cleveland Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire was accidental.
Anybody who wants to donate any goods can call Kim on 07703789537.