Family counts devastating cost

Roxanne and daughters SUS-151102-155104001
Roxanne and daughters SUS-151102-155104001

A mother and her twin daughters lost everything in a fire which ripped through their Battle home.

Luckily Roxanne Cunningham and her daughters, Rose and Scarlett age 8, were out when the fire broke out at Wren Court on Sunday February 8.

It started in the kitchen and is believed to have been caused by a cordless vacuum cleaner which was on charge.

Firefighters from Battle, using two engines, put out the blaze after the alarm was raised by a neighbour.

The family had only recently moved to their new privately rented house from Whatlington.

Friend Kate Hoile said: “Roxanne had worked very hard to build a new home for them all.

She had used all her savings to do so, and they are now left with nothing. Unfortunately Roxanne’s possessions are not covered by insurance.

Now friends have launched an appeal to raise funds to buy the family new furniture and appliances.

An online appeal had already reached more than £1,600 at the time of the Observer going to press.

Roxanne and her daughters are currently staying with family.

Roxanne said: “The fire was so bad it blew the windows out and the only thing that could be saved in the kitchen were the metal light fittings.

“It is really upsetting as I have put everything into the house and helping the girls to settle there.

“I spent thousands making it nice for them.

Friends have been hugely supportive and I would like to say a big thank-you to people.”

Claire Barnes, who set up the fund-raising site, said: “I could never imagine coming home to the devastation that I saw. Every electrical appliance melted, all the girls dolls hair burnt and melted from the sheer heat and upstairs every wall painting and item of clothing black.

Kate Hoile said: Roxanne is a popular young woman, who is always a great support to her friends. She needs her friends and family now more than ever.”

If you would like to help the family, donations can be made at

A spokesperon for East Sussex Fire and Rescue said: “A fire investigation has been carried out and the cause was accidental, believed linked to a vacuum cleaner.”