Family of four ‘distraught’ after living in single hotel room for nearly five months after house fire

One double bed and two single beds in Travelodge hotel Hatfield

Carl Scott, his wife and his 16-year-old and 14-year-old children have been sharing this hotel room for nearly five months. - Credit: Carl Scott

A Hatfield couple and their two teenagers have been sharing a cramped Travelodge family room and living off takeaways since May, after the front of their home was damaged in an accidental chemical fire.  

Paradigm Housing Association, who owns the family’s terraced house on Richards Street, put up the Scott family in a nearby Travelodge on May 28 while their house was being repaired.  

But after repeated requests from father Carl Scott, 47, to Paradigm asking for a second room, all four of them are still living in the small space. They were offered an unfurnished two-bed apartment but as their furniture was destroyed in the fire they chose not to take it.

“I’m completely lost with it. I don’t know where to turn or what to do,” Carl said.

Carl’s 16-year-old and 14-year-old split their time between the room and their friends’ homes. Due to their situation, Carl’s wife is now suffering from depression. She has been signed off four weeks from work. “I just need my house back because my wife is utterly distraught,” Carl said. 

When the loss adjuster first assessed the damage, they told Carl it should take 12 weeks for the front of the house to be fixed. However, Paradigm Housing, who contracted builders for the work, keep pushing back the date for when the repairs will be done.

Fire damage to front of red brick terraced house on Richards Street in Hatfield

Carl's home on Richards Street was damaged in an accidental fire back in May. This photo was taken on October 17. - Credit: Carl Scott

Initially, Carl was told by Paradigm that work would start on August 2 and finish at the end of September.  

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But so far only the windows have been replaced, which happened on September 28. But yesterday, following enquiries by the WHT, a plumber and sandblaster also arrived.  

Paradigm explained that material and labour shortages delayed progress but they are meeting with the contractors this week and expect the repairs to be finished by November 19.  

They added: “We are very sorry that it is taking so long to get Mr and Mrs Scott and their family back into their home after the fire in May. 

“In July a two-bedroom property became available for occupancy from early August, but due to difficulties in moving, the family advised us they would prefer to remain in the hotel. 

“We appreciate that this is a far from ideal situation for the family, and after discussion with Mr Scott have booked a further bedroom for the children from Monday.”