Lock-up fire destroys family’s possessions

Photo Ian Robinson Chris and Hayley Cottam from Hesketh Bank who lost all their possessions when Abacus Self Store on the Waterside Business Park in Burscough caught fire
Photo Ian Robinson Chris and Hayley Cottam from Hesketh Bank who lost all their possessions when Abacus Self Store on the Waterside Business Park in Burscough caught fire
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A family’s dream home move turned into a nightmare after all their possessions were destroyed in a huge blaze.

Chris Cottam, 27, and his wife Hayley, 27, were excitedly counting down the days before moving into the ideal home they had chosen to bring up their 11-month-old daughter Lexi.

But less than two weeks before they were due to move to Hesketh Bank, they received a call to say a fire had destroyed the lock-up in which they were storing all their possessions.

Chris, a PE teacher, has been left with the prospect of moving house tomorrow with little more than a few bags of belongings.

He said: “The most expensive pieces of furniture was the washing machine, two settees, and Xbox, four or five bags of clothes.

“There was my daughter’s old clothes ready for the next baby and my nan’s blanket which she knitted me when I was seven.

“It has just really been horrible.”

The fire at the warehouse in New Lane, Burscough, on Tuesday November 16, has left the family facing the prospect of moving into the new home tomorrow, with nothing to put in the house.

He said: “We cannot just go and buy a new washing machine, we cannot just go and buy new settees, we have not got anything to move in.

“All we have got are the necessities, a few summer to winter clothes. “We have no beds, it has ruined everything.

“It is going to take two years to get up to that level (of possessions) but it is not just money really.

“It is upsetting, it is the personal possessions you cannot do anything about.”

Chris has been told by Lathom Properties, which runs the building, he will not receive a penny because the company did not offer insurance.

But Chris claims he had not been made aware of this when he rented a space.

He said: “We assumed they had insurance sorted out in case of anything like this.

“They never told us anything.”

The blaze was reported at around 8pm and at its height there were more than 80 firefighters at the scene, as they pumped water from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The roof contained asbestos and a total of 12 nearby homes were evacuated along with customers in the Farmers Arms pub.

A spokesman for Lathom Properties (Abacus), was unavailable for comment.