Mother and her four daughters are left homeless after fire ripped through their home when Hoover tumble dryer burst into flames
- Emma Pickering her four daughters and boyfriend managed to escape uninjured
- Black smoke and flames were seen pouring out of the Nextra 8 tumble dryer
- The family are now living with a family friend and are relying on foodbanks
A mother and her family were forced to flee their home after their tumble dryer caught fire.
Emma Pickering her four daughters and boyfriend watched in horror after the home in Harlow, Essex burned to the ground.
The family fled the home around 3pm on Sunday after seeing thick black smoke and flames billowing out of the Hoover Nextra 8 tumble dryer.
Emma Pickering and her family are homeless after a tumble dryer burst into flames and fire ripped through their home. Emma is pictured with her daughter Charlotte
The fire has left the downstairs of the house in ruins. Pictured, what is left of the kitchen
The family discovered smoke pouring from the Hoover Nextra 8 tumble dryer (pictured)
Emma’s daughter, Alexandra, 10, raised the alarm after smelling smoke in the kitchen.
She shouted to Emma, who was upstairs with her other daughters, and they rushed to the kitchen to discover smoke pouring from the tumble dryer which was drying clothes at the time.
Minutes after the family escaped the home, a crew from The Harlow & Old Harlow fire service arrived at the home.
Firefighters managed to control the fire before it could spread to the upstairs of the house but it destroyed much of the ground floor.
Emma lived in the home with her boyfriend, Jamie, Alexandra and her other daughters, Charlotte, 18, Francesca, 12, Charlotte, 18, Francesca, 12 and Georgiana, 8.
The tumble dryer had been turned on for half an hour when it caught fire, according to Emma.
The family, who were all uninjured, are now living with a family friend and are relying on foodbanks for meals.
Emma, who has an ovarian tumour, now faces a struggle to rebuild her family’s lives as had no home insurance.
Firefighters managed to control the fire before it could spread to the upstairs of the house
Emma said: ‘I was in bed asleep because I’m not well. Three of my daughters were upstairs, my boyfriend was in the lounge watching football and my other daughter was dancing around the kitchen.
‘As we went towards the tumble dryer we could see the top part where the electrics are and there was thick, black smoke pouring out of the front.
‘I pulled the water drawer out and with that all the flames came up. Charlotte, my eldest, got the rest of the girls out of the house and called the fire brigade.
‘As I got to the front door flames were bursting out of the utility window, and as I got to the other side of the road where everyone was, the windows exploded out.
‘I was beside myself shaking, by then all of the neighbours had come out and they’d taken the little ones inside because I didn’t want them to be traumatised any more.
‘I was shaking holding onto my eldest and we were both sobbing. We were staring at the flames and it was just unbelievable, it was all a bit surreal. You know what’s happening but you can’t comprehend it.
‘I haven’t got any house insurance because it lapsed on October 11, and all I could think about was ‘what am I going to do?’
With the house now completely uninhabitable, the family is currently staying with a friend, Julie, in a two-bedroom house in Old Harlow, Essex.
Emma said the family are living in cramped conditions at the house.
She said: ‘It’s a little bit cramped but the kids are settled there, they’re happy. They’ve had sleepovers there before so they’re used to being there.
‘It’s really hard because we’ve gone from a four-bed detached house with three bathrooms. Being five girls, having three bathrooms was just about adequate and Julie’s only got one.
‘So in the morning it’s a bit of a challenge, especially if one’s in the shower and we’re all queueing to get in and then out of the house.
The blaze is the latest tragedy to befall Emma in the past few years.
She was diagnosed with her tumour two years ago but it is currently benign.
In July last year, Emma developed peritonitis after her appendix burst, and she almost lost her life.
Because of her condition, Emma hasn’t been allowed to work and has been living on benefits.
With the house now completely uninhabitable, the family is currently staying with a friend, Julie, in a two-bedroom house in Old Harlow, Essex
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She said this has meant she sometimes struggles to find enough money to feed her children.
She said: ‘Because of being on an employment and support allowance (ESA) and money being low I haven’t been able to pay for things like my house and life insurance,’ she said.
Emma is now waiting to find out the full extent of the damage before she can think about sorting out the repairs.
Emma is now relying on the kindness of friends, family and strangers to build her life back up.
Dawn Pell Mason, one of Emma’s closet friends, has set up a crowdfunding page to try to raise money for the family.
The JustGiving site is aiming to raise £20,000 to go towards repair work for the family home in Albert Gardens, Harlow.
More than £1,600 has been raised so far, and Emma is overwhelmed with the support.
She said: ‘On Sunday when I was staring at the fire wondering what I was going to do, that’s all I could think about.
‘The response and the support that I’ve had has been so overwhelming. My friends have taken over the crowdfunding page and my Facebook because I couldn’t manage it all.’
Hoover have been approached by MailOnline for comment.
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