Mum and her six children left homeless for the holidays after fire destroys house next door
CHRISTMAS has been ruined for a single mother after a fire destroyed an adjoining house, making her homeless for the holidays.
Natasha Wallace (29) arrived home from doing Christmas shopping on Sunday to discover firemen tackling the blaze that gutted the house next door.
"Well, to be honest, I am homeless now," she said. "Christmas is gone now, we can't have any Christmas now. We'll try and have as good a one as we can, but the kids are old enough to know what's going on."
Her six children, Nadine (10), Mark (8), Colby (6), Taylor (5), Troy (3) and baby James Dean, have been asking their heartbroken mother if Santa Claus will be visiting them on Christmas Eve. It is the second time her house has been damaged by fire from a neighbouring property. "We were evacuated again last week at two o'clock in the morning, me and all the kids."
Holding back the tears, Ms Wallace added: "The last time it wasn't too bad because the smoke went away but this time the roof of my house is too badly damaged.
"It's unrepairable, we can't come in here again. The water is after damaging everything, all the kids' clothes smell of smoke and all their Christmas toys are gone."
Asked if she had any presents left for her children, Ms Wallace said: "No, none whatsoever."
"All they have now is the clothes they have on them in school this morning. Their school books and uniforms are destroyed," the children's grandmother, Angela Crawford, said.
A 90-year-old woman, who was also living next door to the burnt out house in Crecora Avenue, Limerick city, had to be evacuated by her son and daughter and taken away in an ambulance. It is understood the woman, who has been in ill health, was treated for shock.
Ms Wallace said she has been on a housing waiting list with Limerick City Council for the past 11 years. however, she's hoping she will be finally given a house in January, 2012.
In the meantime, however, she said she was "begging" the city council to re-house her for the Christmas period, preferably near her family in Ballinacurra Weston.
When contacted yesterday Limerick Mayor Jim Long promised that Ms Wallace would be housed, but it would be January at the earliest.
"We will then be in a position hopefully in January to offer her full-time accommodation. We've done likewise for the elderly lady who lived in the other house."