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Home / Latest News / Family of five left homeless for two months after house fire

Family of five left homeless for two months after house fire

A family of five have been homeless for more than two months after their home was wrecked in a blaze.

Dad Luke Gonthier and his girlfriend Emma Baldwin are furious with the way they have been treated since the February 17 fire, insisting they have been abandoned by the council.

They claim they are too traumatised to move back into their old property, in Pyle Road, Caerau, Cardiff, and that the authority won’t help them find anywhere else.

“The seven-year-old is receiving counselling,” Luke said.

“We have had a letter from the doctors over the trauma and their advice is that going back to the property is not a good idea.”

Luke and Emma live with their children Renee Gonthier, aged seven, and 20-month-old tot Isabelle Gonthier.

Emma’s 17-year-old sister Stacey Baldwin also lives with them. They are currently at a hostel in Clos Tan-Y-Ffarm, Cardiff.

“It’s not good enough,” said unemployed security guard Luke.

“We received a decision saying they did not have a duty to us and we should return to the property where we could have lost our lives and children, and where we did lose all our possessions.

“We are all too frightened to go back to the property.”

Dad-of-four Luke claimed neither he nor his partner had “had a proper night’s sleep” since the fire.

“The children have been waking throughout the night, all the time, with nightmares.”

The cause of the blaze has not been established.

Emma said: “I’m really concerned that a family like ours, who have been through what we’ve been through, are not receiving help and support from the council or from anywhere.”

The mum-of-two insisted they were “very comfortable in our home before the fire”.

“We had just finished decorating,” the 27-year-old said.

“We were planning to make that our home. Then something like that happens and we are just at a loss.

“After opening my daughter’s bedroom and witnessing their room full of thick smoke and the terrified look on my daughter’s face I can’t get that image out of my head.

“To think of going back to that home and having that memory planted in my head all the time – I just couldn’t.

“And I couldn’t do that to my children.”

A Cardiff Council spokesperson, said: “The council has provided temporary accommodation, considered the family’s situation, and now feel it is reasonable to expect the family to move back to the repaired property.”

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