Devastated mum and daughter 'lose everything' in second fire in four months

Natalie McDevitt and her young daughter came home from a trip to the shops find their home ablaze and pet kitten dead.

A Paisley mother said she and her daughter “could have died” after their flat went up in flames for the second time in four months.

Natalie McDevitt and her ten-year-old daughter had nipped to the shops on Wednesday evening but were barely halfway when they were called to say their home on Achray Drive was up in flames.

When they returned, they found their flat engulfed in the blaze and their pet kitten, Zevon, dead.

The 30-year-old said the fire was put out after 7pm on Wednesday night but they were called back at 6am on Thursday as the property caught ablaze for the second time.

The fire came from a socket in the kitchen overheating even though it had ‘nothing plugged into it’.

“When we arrived to the first fire, the fireman asked me whether my fire alarms were working, and I told them that it was my understanding they were.

“The fireman told me to get straight onto the council as he said none of the fire alarms were linked up.”

The mother and daughter had only just moved back into their home 48 hours prior to the blaze after being in temporary accommodation after a “freak accident”, in which a candle caught ablaze in August 2023.

The most recent fire started after a socket in the kitchen overheated even though it had “nothing plugged into it”.

Paisley flat fire

Ms McDevitt fears the socket may have been damaged by the original blaze in August and was never checked by the council.

She said that an electrician had visited the property on the Monday before the fire to check the flat.

“He was there for about 15-20 minutes and I just left him to it, because I trusted they knew what they were doing,” she said.

Ms McDevitt added she “wished” she had followed and taken notes of what the electrician was doing and urged others to do the same.

“Last week my life was normal, and four hours later we lost everything. It’s just been horrendous,” she added.

Ms McDevitt added this isn’t the first issue the block of flats has faced since she has lived there with her daughter.

“There was a flood on the top floor flat in December 2022, and the flat above mine’s ceiling caved in, it was two weeks before Christmas and I had to hang tarp on the wall to stop the water from getting to the carpets,” Ms McDevitt said.

She also claimed there were problems with rats and had only just had the area they were getting into the property replaced.

Ms McDevitt’s ordeal has left her and her daughter devastated, and in hotel accommodation provided by the council.

“We’re in a Travelodge now, but the first and second night we were there my daughter and I had to share a meal because the council couldn’t provide a child’s meal voucher,” she told STV News.

“Luckily the hotel compensated my daughter last night so we could have a meal each,” she said.

Ms McDevitt claims the location they are staying makes it difficult to get her daughter to school.

“The distance is starting to interfere with my daughter’s education too as it’s a £10 taxi to get her to and from school which just isn’t feasible,” she said.

The 30-year-old said she was looking forward to going home with her daughter after being away for around three and a half months.

“My daughter was telling her friends we were going home, and now we’ve lost everything.

“Obviously I’m grateful that me and my daughter weren’t hurt but the worst thing that could’ve happened besides that was losing Zevon, he’d only just turned one in October. We’re absolutely distraught, he is irreplaceable,” she said.

Renfrewshire Council has been contacted for comment.

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