Family left homeless after devastating Ipswich fire move into new house in Saxmundham

Alicia, Sam and children Lillie and Lockie in their new home in Saxmundham

Alicia, Sam and children Lillie and Lockie in their new home in Saxmundham PICTURE :SEANA HUGHES

A young family-of-four left homeless when a devastating fire ripped through their Ipswich flat are smiling again after picking up the keys to a new dream house.

Alicia and Samuel Clarke, along with their children, Lillie, three, and four-month-old Lockie, have been staying in a hotel since the blaze in Stoke Park Drive on November 8.

In a cruel twist of fate, the couple had just returned home from securing a new property in Saxmundham when they saw smoke billowing out of their bedroom window.

When they could hear no alarms sounding, the brave pair ran into the block and warned as many neighbours as possible to get out and seek safety.

Luckily, their children were not with them at the time.

Mr and Mrs Clarke had nearly £1,800 stashed under their bed which they were saving to decorate their new home, but the cash, along with most of their possessions and some Christmas presents they had bought for loved ones, were destroyed in the blaze.

The family’s pet gecko, Amaura, was killed in the fire.

After learning of the disaster, property group Flagship has allowed the family to move into their fresh house in Mayflower Avenue, Saxmundham, early.

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Although the rooms will look pretty bare until the couple can replace their lost possessions, Mrs Clarke said they were all delighted to have a place to call home again.

Following the fire, a friend of the family started an online fundraising appeal to collect some cash to help get them back on their feet.

Although the target was set at £500, this was exceeded in just a few days and is now up to nearly £900.

Among the messages of support left by contributors to the cause were: “Sorry to hear this and hope everything’s sorted soon for you and your little ones.”

Mrs Clarke, 23, said: “It’s amazing, considering we lost out savings. It was nice of my friend to put that together so we could get something back. It will help with the decorating.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.