A devastating house fire has left one Hamilton family wondering where they will sleep in the coming days.
Eight children ages 2 to 21 live in the home with their parents. The family did not have renters insurance, and are now faced with the prospect of having to stay in a homeless shelter.
Nearly everything must be thrown out.
A fire caused $80,000 worth of damage to a bungalow near Upper Paradise and Mohawk Road on Thursday evening, leaving the Harts faced with homelessness for the first time. Finding a place for 8 children within the families budget is a big challenge, bringing Cindy Hart to tears.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get a house. Having 8 kids is so hard because, like I have 6 bedrooms here and everywhere you go it’s like 3 bedroom or 4 bedroom and people knowing you have 8 kids, they don’t want to rent to you.”
Hart and her children were cleaning up the home today… garbage bags filled with clothes, shoes, and toys… all to be thrown out because of the severe smoke damage.
The fire started in the basement, the Harts say a mini fridge in their daughter’s bedroom caught fire, thankfully she was not in her room at the time.
No one was hurt, but 21 year old Sharon Hart lost her beloved guinea pig.
The younger children do not fully understand the challenges that lie ahead, but the older kids are worried.
The Red Cross has put the family up in a motel until monday. A family friend extended their stay for one extra day, but come Wednesday a homeless shelter may be their only option.
“I just don’t want to be separated from the kids, like men’s shelters or women’s shelters. i just want to stay together”
The family had been renting this home for over one year, they do not have renters insurance.
There is a large disposal bin in the driveway for the majority of the family’s belongings. Cindy Hart says content insurance was not something they thought about.
Cindy Hart does not work in order to care for her 8 children, and her husband cannot work because of a disability. The family says they have received donations of clothes and shoes.