Fire mum's plea to move back to Brixham
A MOTHER who lost everything when her house burnt down says she does not know where her family will be living in 2013.
Heidi Barton wants to move herself and her children back to her home town of Brixham.
But the New Year will start with her and five of her children squashed into her eldest son's house in Newton Abbot.
Some are sleeping in the front room and others are squeezed into a bedroom.
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Mrs Barton says she is desperate to get back to Brixham in time for her children to get back to school on January 8.
She said: "I need a place in Brixham. My autistic son, Harry, goes to school in Brixham and he won't go in a taxi without me so I have to take him to and from school.
"I've been on to housing and they have offered me a flat in Torquay in the New Year.
"I'm grateful, but I can't afford the petrol costs. It is going to mess up the feeding times for my daughter because she is on a feed pump. There is a two-bedroom house in Brixham which has been empty for four of five years. It has got a garden and I could put a caravan in it for the older two boys, but I don't know who owns it.
"I am trying to get my kids back to normality because this year hasn't been great."
Heidi, a mother-of-12, lost everything in the blaze at her home in Briseham Road three days before Christmas.
The single mother was meant to be celebrating her 43rd birthday on the day of the disaster, which killed three of the family's pet dogs and a tortoise.
Mrs Barton, whose children are aged from 23 to seven months, was at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children with seven-month-old daughter Phoebe after the Downs Syndrome girl had to undergo an operation, when her son called her to say her home was in flames.
It is believed an electrical fault in a fridge freezer started the fire.
She rushed back in the middle of the night to discover her terraced house destroyed.
The five children who still live with her were staying at their older siblings' homes in Brixham and Newton Abbot.
Mrs Barton has temporarily moved in with her 23-year-old son in Newton Abbot.
"I've been back to the house in Brixham a couple of times but it is too unstable to go inside because the floor might collapse," she said.
The family did manage to share a Christmas meal together.
Mrs Barton said: "My sister was working at the Skipper Inn and they offered us a meal.
"The public has also kindly offered lots of clothing. The Christmas meal was very nice."