A mum is facing homelessness after a fire ripped through her Birmingham home – leaving them with nothing.
Sharisse Richards had to flee from her Northfield home with her nine-year-old grandson Reginald as the flames tore through the property on Tuesday, July 20.
The 43-year-old told BirminghamLive that they were only alerted after a neighbour shouted ‘the house is on fire’.
Luckily, Sharisse and Reginald were able to be rescued from the bedroom they were in and out of the smoke-filled house. The pair weren’t injured but had a cough for a few days.
Sharisse’s daughter Chelsea Ruby is now fundraising to help her mum in the wake of the incident, which she says has left her mum and son extremely shaken.
The 27-year-old said: “It feels like a losing battle at the moment
“My mum can barely speak and is suffering from PTSD.
“Reg has been having nightmares and he’s sleeping in my bed.
“He keeps asking if the fire is going to be at our house which is devastating for a six-year-old.
“I spoke to my doctor and they said that if it continues then I should take him to see a therapist.”
Celebrity make-up artist, Chelsea, was at her salon in London when she heard the horrific news.
She said: “The loft was full of teddies and sentimental items and so just went up.
“As they were upstairs, they didn’t know how bad it was so had to wait to be rescued.
“About two minutes after they got out the shed exploded because it was full of alcohol.
“They were lucky they got out when they did, or they would never have gotten out.
“I just thank my lucky stars that they’re both alive.
“I got a call from the fire brigade and just wanted to teleport to them but had to drive an hour-and-a-half back to Birmingham.
“I was so relieved when I saw them standing outside the house.”
Chelsea has since slammed Birmingham City Council for their lack of support with her mum’s situation.
She said: “My mum has been left to rot.
“She is homeless and the council has a duty of care to house her, but all they said was that I needed to book an appointment.
“They said that she’s in a queue and as she has £800 in her bank that should be enough for hotels.
“She cannot believe that she is still sleeping on a sofa. All she just wants is a bed and a quilt.
“She’s having a heart operation next Thursday, so she will be homeless when she gets discharged.
“People don’t understand, this is another week of hell.
“I’m feeling anxious and guilty that I can’t help her.”
Chelsea says that her mum has been left without an income as she is no longer able to work as foster carer without somewhere to live.
She said: “My mum has been a foster carer for vulnerable adults for eight years.
“She’s looked after around 50 people. She helped to rehabilitate them and even had people leave verbal who previously didn’t speak.
“She has given back to the community for nearly nine years.”
Sharisse is unable to stay with Chelsea in London as she needs to remain in Birmingham to allow contractors access to the property.
“I can give her my savings but even then it’s not going to fix it permanently,” she added. “I even had to send her a parcel of clothes because she literally has been left with nothing.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Chelsea has set up a GoFundMe page for her mum which has now raised over £2,000
She said: “Hopefully with a bit of help we can get some money together and we can start again.
“She’s sleeping on her friend’s sofa and that’s where she’s going to be for a while.
“As well as trying to run my business, I’m on the phone to the council trying to help her.
“My priority now is to get her as much money as I can and hopefully in the next week get her somewhere to live.”
Birmingham City Council said: “Whenever anyone approaches us as homeless, Birmingham City Council will always do its level best to support them and provide them with the best possible advice.
“However, like any large local authority, we are experiencing significantly high numbers of people who are threatened with homelessness, homeless or in need of emergency accommodation.
“We will do everything possible to prevent our citizens from becoming homeless in the first place – and where this is not possible, we are working collaboratively with partners across the city to ensure that suitable accommodation is found including helping families to find accommodation in the private rented sector, with the help of a rent deposit scheme.
“As has been widely reported, we have a long waiting list for social housing which means placing families is very challenging owing to a shortage of accommodation.
“Anyone who finds themselves in need of accommodation should, as a matter of urgency approach the Housing Options Centre – who will then review their case and work through all potential options with them.”
You can donate to Chelsea’s GoFundMe page here.