Judith Burbidge, Director of Neighbourhoods at Weaver Vale Housing Trust said “We have arranged and paid for temporary local accommodation for a week for the family. We are aware that the family have made contact with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Housing Solutions team and Social Services who are assisting the family with finding long term accommodation.
“An eviction is always our last resort but in this case we have to put the safety of the family, neighbours and anyone else entering the home first.
“We have tried every option open to us over the course of three years, including the offer to install a sprinkler system in the home and offering to clear and store the items safely, but Mrs Appleton and her sons have continued to refuse all offers of help to reduce the fire risk to both themselves and visitors entering the home, including fire fighters. We have had almost daily contact with the family to try to find a solution.
“Once the bailiffs took possession of the property, a full safety inspection was carried out. The house was then made secure before the removal and safe and secure storage of all the Appletons’ items.
Mark Cashin, Deputy Chief Officer at Cheshire Fire and Rescue added “Hoarding certainly is a growing issue for fire and rescue services. It presents significant risks for individuals, communities and firefighters. This is not about us telling people how they should live their lives it is about keeping people and firefighters safe, something that we have a responsibility to do. Fires in the homes of hoarders have resulted in several deaths and have in some incidences put the lives of fire crews in extreme danger.”
Judith continued: “Both Cheshire West & Chester’s Social Services team and the local Church made last ditch attempts last week to work with the family, to try mediate on our behalf and find a solution, however this was unsuccessful."