Family whose home was wrecked by exploding vape make accommodation plea

A family whose belongings were damaged when an “incompatible battery” in a vape exploded and sparked a fire are appealing for help to find temporary accommodation.

Damage left by the blaze. Photo: West Midlands Fire Service.
Damage left by the blaze. Photo: West Midlands Fire Service.

Two teenagers escaped serious injury during the incident at the rented semi-detached house, in Gorsty Hayes, Codsall, after flames completely wrecked a bedroom and left the rest of the first floor smoke damaged.

Now tenant and mother-of-three Susan Lunnon is trying to find a family sized property in the area so that her 16-year-old daughter, who is about to sit her GCSEs, can remain at the same school without facing more disruption to her preparations.

The teen suffered a cut to her leg and a friend, aged 15, suffered singeing to his arms as a result, but were otherwise unhurt.

Ms Lunnon, a wedding photographer, said she was grateful to members of the community who were rallying to support her with gifts of clothing and money which will be used to offset costs to relocate. She and two other children, aged 10 and three, were not in the house at the time of the blaze.

The house showing damaged room and debris in the garden

A total of £330 has so far been collected on a fundraising page set up for the family.

The 34-year-old said: "It is a very difficult time for us. The vape exploded so my daughter and her friend are still in shock after what happened. They are struggling as it's had a big effect on our families, but we're supporting each other.

"We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of the public and we're more than thankful for the monies that are coming our way and through the Go Fund Me page. People were sending us clothes and toys for the children.

"Overnight people have been donating money which will be extremely helpful.

Damage left by the blaze. Photo: West Midlands Fire Service.

"We can't use upstairs due to the damage. My eldest has lost all of her things and we've had to get rid of a lot of clothes which got ruined due to the rooms being blackened by the smoke damage.

"We're looking for accommodation either in Codsall or neighbouring areas that's big enough for a family of four and our two Rough Collies which we don't want to rehome.

"South Staffordshire Council has offered us a small house, but we'd have to put our pets in kennels which we're reluctant to do because the puppy is only four-months-old.

"We're ideally looking for privately rented accommodation. Our current landlord has been very understanding, but we have to move while the repairs are done."

West Midlands Fire Service said the blaze was caused by an “incompatible battery” being installed in the vape.

The fire-damaged vape. Photo: West Midlands Fire Service.

She also praised that British Red Cross for providing food and toiletries in the aftermath of the fire, and the emergency services.

An online giving page is available, while accommodation offers should be made via Susan Lunnon's Facebook page.

Funds will be used to replace the children's uniforms and other essential clothing and help the family with moving costs and replacement furniture.

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