An elderly couple have been left ‘heartbroken’ after a fire destroyed the ground floor of their home.
Dorothy and Roger Ashcroft’s home has been left with considerable smoke damage after a defective dehumidifier exploded and caught fire. The flames spread gutting several rooms and destroyed their kitchen.
The couple of Norwich Road, Wheatley, have been left with several rooms which need to be completely redecorated and refitted. They now face having to find thousands of pounds for repairs, but say they have no way of covering the cost because their health problems meant they forgot to renew their home insurance.
Mr Ashcroft, 74, says he forgot to renew the insurance, which lapsed 12 days before the fire, due to being ‘distracted’ because of his wife, 71, suffering from several health problems following her recovery from colon cancer.
He said: “We heard a big pop from the dehumidifier and then a huge flame came from it.
“I had to guide my wife out of the house through all of the smoke as she can’t see very well. We’ve lost things like pictures of our wedding and grandson that we can never get back.
“It’s been heartbreaking. I feel very frustrated and aggrieved about the insurance running out, but I do understand that the insurance company have rules. They told me if I’d renewed it, even the day before the fire, they would have been able to pay out 100 per cent of what we needed.
“My wife’s been saying ‘make sure you renew the house insurance’. But since I had a heart attack in 2006 my short term memory has been ruined, and it slipped my mind.”
Fire crews were called to the house on February 24.
Mr and Mr Ashcroft have been staying at the Bircotes home of their grandson Roger Jr, and are likely to remain there for the next few weeks at least.
Mr Ashcroft added: “If there is anyone out there who can help us with goods for our kitchen, or to replace the UPVC door or windows and shed that was lost in the fire, their help would be most welcome.
“My wife is distraught and just wants to go home, but we cannot until everything is replaced and repaired.”
Anyone able to help should call 07933 855581.