We’ve lost everything

Janet Thornton and four of her sons have had to live a smaller property after waiting for repairs on their own house which was damaged following a house fire in their neighbouring property.
Janet Thornton and four of her sons have had to live a smaller property after waiting for repairs on their own house which was damaged following a house fire in their neighbouring property.
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A heroic family who battled in vain to save a neighbour from a house fire are still homeless three months on.

And Janet Thornton’s family face an even longer wait before they can move back home.

The house on Poplar Avenue, Beighton, Sheffield, was gutted in a blaze which spread from next door neighbour Richard Hobson’s house in March.

Two of Janet’s teenage sons – Tom, aged 18, and Jamie, 15 – used a garden hosepipe to try to put out the fire, jumping on the roof of their rear extension to spray water through the back window of Mr Hobson’s home as the fierce fire raged.

Sadly the blaze killed Mr Hobson, and left his 88-year-old mother and sister homeless too - but it also spread to the Thorntons’ property, causing catastrophic damage.

Their house now needs to be rebuilt and the family lost all their possessions.

“we have got nothing,” janet told the star today.

“i had saved the baby clothes the boys came out of hospital in for example, it is things like you can’t replace.”

the family are now living in a smaller rented property on nearby rosemary road, where janet is having to share her bedroom with her 12-year-old son sam.

janet, 50, who works as a carer, said work to rebuild her home of 20 years is unlikely to be completed until october or november.

and, as four of her five sons including billy, 17, still live with her, she said they are struggling in their temporary three-bedroom property.

she said the family are in ‘limbo’ as they wait for rebuilding to start now planning permission has been approved.

“we are just living day-to-day at the moment,” she said. “we are on top of each other.

“the house has to be taken back to its shell. they are going to replace everything. the kitchen, the bathroom, all the ceilings have gone and the roof has to be replaced – basically it is everything other than the brickwork.”

janet stressed halifax, who have been dealing with the insurance claim and have agreed to cover the cost of the rebuilding and replacing lost goods, have been ‘fantastic’ – but added the family are keen to get home as soon as possible.

it is hoped work can start in the next fortnight.

halifax said the home should be repaired by october.

fire investigators said the blaze next door was believed to have been caused by a faulty gas heater.