Valuables and essential disability equipment taken by thieves after house blaze
An Aylesbury Vale family have suffered not just one but two disasters within a space of just two months.
In September, a house fire forced Marianne Ponsonby-White, her husband Bill and their two young daughters, one of whom has a disability, into six different temporary hotels and housing.
And just last month, while the family were attending a neighbour’s Halloween party, their car was stolen and their fire-damaged home broken into.
Tilly, four, who attends Booker Park School, suffers from severe neurological problems and sensory processing disorder. She finds a changing environment difficult to live with, which made the constant moving extremely difficult to cope with.
The cause of the fire in September was accidental.
Marianne said: “It was either the dog or Tilly who turned the hob on. At some point one of us had put a box on the hob and left it while we went out for the school run. The smoke damage was terrible – and pretty much all of the children’s toys were ruined by the chemicals they use to treat the fire damage. I’ve tried to save their most sentimental teddies. The only thing they have left is their books.
“We are currently renting the house of my friend’s late father and we should hopefully be able to stay here until our home is ready for us to move back into.”
To make matters worse, after returning to their home to park their car while they attended their neighbour’s Halloween party their car was stolen and their house was broken into.
“My younger daughter Tilly is disabled and the car contained a lot of her special equipment, along with my handbag, purse and laptop with all my uni work on it.
“Both of my daughters have lost all of their toys due to the toxic smoke damage and now the burglars have taken what little my girls had left, which was their silver christening presents.
“They also took two priceless rings which my great grandmother gave to me.”
To add insult to injury, Marianne has slipped a disc in her back after carrying her daughter into her car.
“And now, even though I have a ‘guaranteed replacement car’ on my motor policy, they have provided us with the smallest car imaginable.
“It’s been a disaster trying to get Tilly in and out of the car, and it’s resulted in me slipping a disc in my back. Tilly’s buggy simply won’t fit in the car they have provided, and they are refusing to do anything about it.”
The insurance company has refused to reimburse the family for their kitchen appliances – leaving them without any kitchen equipment, which is needed to puree Tilly’s food as she has difficulty with digestion.
“My other daughter Beatrice said to me, we must be the most unlucky family in the world and although we’ve been unlucky, we have to stay positive and not fall into a spiral of depression.
“I said to her we must be the luckiest! Nobody was hurt in the fire, both dogs and cats survived and we have insurance – I know you’ve lost your toys but hopefully we can sort out some new ones.”