St Austell mum rebuilds life after devastating fire destroys home
A ST AUSTELL mother who lost everything after her home was destroyed by a devastating fire said the experience taught her to never lose sight of what's truly important.
Christine Morran and her three children were left only with the clothes they were wearing after the blaze tore through their Foxhole home two years ago.
"We literally lost everything," Ms Morran explained.
"I received a phone call from the school saying our house had gone up in flames.
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"I left work straight away, went home and the firefighters said the house was uninhabitable.
"I emptied my bank account and bought toothbrushes and pyjamas for the children and we went to McDonald's for tea.
"And then I thought, 'what are we going to do now'?"
Mrs Morran, who had separated from her husband a few years before the fire, was made redundant from her post as a textiles teacher just one month after the house went up in flames.
"I lost my husband, I lost my home and I lost my job. I could have easily given up but I had to keep things normal for the children," the 45-year-old said.
Cornwall Council placed the family in emergency accommodation following the blaze, which was caused by a pair of faulty hair straighteners being left on.
"We were put in a B&B – all four of us in one room," Ms Morran said.
"But the children went to school the very next day because I wanted to keep things as normal as possible."
The family lived in the hotel for eight months before being allocated a new home in St Stephen in January this year.
Now they say they are finally able to move on with their lives and Ms Morran is celebrating the launch of her very own business.
"I struggled to find a job teaching textiles and people were saying, 'you have a talent, why don't you set up your own business'?," she said.
"That's when I started thinking about doing something by myself."
Having collected bears since she was 19, she has now turned her passion into a way of providing for her family and opened a shop and workshop in Market Place earlier this month.
"It feels like a new start," she said.
"I already sell the bears in shops but now I have space to sell them direct to customers."
And reflecting on the past two years she said the fire was, in some ways, the best thing that could have happened to her.
"The old house was part of our old life. They were difficult times," she said.
"It was like a cleansing experience.
"We were on the housing waiting list for a long time but we were given a new house. It was a completely new start for us as a family.
"I certainly wouldn't wish it on anybody but when it's inflicted on you like that you have to make the best of it."