Homeless renters hit by fire demand answers after living in hotels for 10 weeks

Tenants are demanding answers – after living in up to six hotels in the past 10 weeks. They were evacuated after a fire at Tollgate Court in Blurton claimed the life of a 40-year-old woman.

But they have never returned since the April 6 fire, and one tenant lives in six different hotels. This leaves her to fend for herself and pay for all her food and drink.

The 23-year-old officer said: “We only knew it was on fire because someone broke into the building to tell us. We were then kicked out in our pajamas and they haven’t let us go there since. My partner was there at the time of the fire.

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“We were scared and trapped in the corridor while smoke was coming our way, we didn’t know how to get out. Finally I had to cover my face with my dressing gown and just ran out of the building, it was a scary experience for everyone.

“We are all separated and in different hotels. We have been living in hotels for almost 10 weeks and have stayed in about 6 different hotels.

“They expect us to pack up our lives and move. We don’t have cooking facilities and don’t get help with meal expenses – nobody can afford to eat out three times a day.”

The fire damage to the low rise block of flats at Tollgate Court

The resident added: “I don’t know if any of my belongings were damaged because I haven’t been in the apartment since April 6th. It’s awful and the most disgusting situation and I feel like no one wants to help.

“I don’t understand where to go for help when something like this happens. I’m grateful to the council for accommodating us, but they didn’t take your sanity into account when you live in a room and can’t cook food.

“We cannot afford to eat out three times a day, seven days a week. We have some of our own clothes, some people gave us and we had to go out and buy more clothes.

Police, Paramedics and Firefighters at Tollgate Court, Trentham Road, in Blurton

“I just have no words for it, it’s awful. We had to deal with that. We want action from everyone who can do something.

“We don’t even get calls when the apartments are ready for us to move in again. We’re just stranded in a hotel and have no idea what’s going on.

“The landlord is private. Many people have tried to ask, but they say nothing. The director of the property has told us that we would be back in our apartments at the end of May but it is now June.”

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