Fire leaves young Sheffield mum with nothing

Ann Maughan, aged 18, and her son Tommy Lee, aged seven months.
Ann Maughan, aged 18, and her son Tommy Lee, aged seven months.
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A young mother and her seven-month-old baby have been left with only the clothes they are wearing after a fire devastated their Sheffield home.

Eighteen-year-old Ann Maughan and her son Tommy Lee escaped the blaze only because she had gone to spend the night with her mother.

When Ann returned to her home on Uttley Close, Darnall, the next morning she found the area cordoned off by police and all her belongings destroyed.

Fire crews fought flames for over 90 minutes in the early hours of last Saturday morning, later logging the cause as suspicious.

Police are now investigating to see if the house was the victim of an arson attack.

Ann, who is expecting her second child in nine weeks’ time, said her home was now completely uninhabitable.

“For the time being I am at my mum’s place in Daresbury Road in Gleadless Valley,” she said.

“I have lost everything – all Tommy Lee was left with was his T-shirt and his nappy. All our clothes and our other belongings have all gone.”

Close friend Jo Norris, who has known Ann all her life, said it was a mercy she and Tommy Lee had not been at home when the fire had broken out.

“She’s been left with nothing – no pram, no toys, no clothes. Plus her passport, ID cards and all her other official documents like insurance policies were all destroyed.

“Even her bank card was in there, so she’s not been able yet to get any money out. We’re all doing all we can to help but she’s understandably frightened by what has happened.”

Jo said the smoke-charred property had even been invaded by looters looking for anything of value that might remain.

Ann said she would be staying with her mum while seeking emergency income support. I shall then have to see if the council can find me a new home,” she added.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews from Darnall and Mansfield Road stations had been called to the scene soon after 4am.

“They reported the property as well alight and fought the flames for over an hour and a half. Their feeling was the house had deliberately been set ablaze,” she added.