A MUM, her two sons, their cat and their dog were left homeless just days before lockdown by a fire that ripped through their block.

Lyndsay McGibbon’s home on Alloway Place, Ardrossan, was unlivable after two fires in one day.

Now, eight months later, the young family finally have a new home.

On March 13, at around 1pm, Lyndsay heard a loud banging. A neighbour was hammering the door of the next house along and smoke was billowing out from the boarded up windows.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

She quickly got ten-year-old Connor and eight-year-old Stewart out of the house as the fire spread to nearby properties.

The 29-year-old told the Herald: “All this smoke was coming out of the neighbour’s house and the dog was yelping and scratching at the door.”

Lyndsay said that another neighbour was trying to get into the home to rescue the pet but was not able to.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Smoke from the first fire poured into Lyndsay's homeSmoke from the first fire poured into Lyndsay's home

The Fire Service arrived and gained entrance before extinguishing the flames.

After checking Lyndsay’s home, she was told it was safe to return.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: There was a layer of soot over everything.There was a layer of soot over everything.

Hours later, around 11pm, while Stewart was asleep upstairs and Lyndsay had run a bath and was making popcorn with Connor, she heard someone hammering her front door.

She opened the door to a neighbour who said: “You need to get everyone out, your roof is on fire.”

Lyndsay ran upstairs where she could see smoke coming down from the loft. She grabbed Stewart out of bed and took her boys across the street to a neighbour.

Fire fighters arrived and tackled the blaze for hours, pouring water onto the roofs over the properties at four, six and eight Alloway Place.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The second fire at Alloway PlaceThe second fire at Alloway Place

Lyndsay said: “We left all of our belongings, everything we owned. We literally had the clothes we were stood in.”

Lyndsay, Stewart, Connor, their dog Lucie and cat Button all moved into Lyndsay’s mum’s one-bedroom flat. Just over a week later, the country went into complete lockdown.

Lyndsay was given an emergency £100 to buy clothes, but with all but essential shops closed, she said, the money did not go very far.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Lyndsay said Anderson Drive was 'digusting'.Lyndsay said Anderson Drive was 'digusting'.

Months passed and finally Lyndsay was offered temporary accommodation at 28 Anderson Drive in Saltcoats.

This property, she said, was disgusting with cigarette burns and mould found in a number of places.

Weeks later the council had let her back home to retrieve mail but she had not been allowed access to take any belongings that had survived smoke-damage.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

Lyndsay said: “I was so patient because of COVID.

“But my patience started wearing thin when hairdressers and sunbed shops were opening and I was left in this disgusting place.”

Lyndsay was told a new permanent residence had been found for her in August, but she only received the keys for it last week and has just been able to start salvaging what remains at Alloway Place.

During the months since the blaze, her belongings have been ruined with dampness due to fire and water damage to the roof and ceiling.

She said: “It’s been a nightmare, horrible. Even trying to have a camp-fire and my youngest wouldn’t go near, so we had to put it out.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Lyndsay McGibbon with her sons and their dog LucieLyndsay McGibbon with her sons and their dog Lucie

“The kids were settled. Then they were moved away from the friends they’d made in Ardrossan, stuck in that flat all day, every day.

“My youngest was over the moon to stay in the new house last night.”

Police attended the fire at around 11.30pm on March 13. Officers made enquiries but found no criminality.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “While we do not generally comment on individuals, we appreciate that this will have been a difficult time for Ms McGibbon and hope she will be happy in her new home.

“Following the fire in March, we believe that the temporary accommodation we provided was clean and up to a good standard.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

“We maintained contact with Ms McGibbon and she was given access to the property in Alloway Place in June to collect some belongings. She was also allowed access on a number of occasions after that.

“We are pleased that we have now found her a permanent home. The previous tenant did not fully vacate the property until 9 October and we have been renovating it since. With complications brought on by COVID-19 this has taken longer than anticipated.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 1.09pm on Friday, March 13, to reports of a dwelling fire on Alloway Place, Ardrossan, Ayrshire.

“Operations Control mobilised two appliances to the scene, where crews worked to extinguish the well-developed fire that had taken hold within the kitchen of the terraced property.

"We were alerted again at 11.35pm on Friday, March 13, to a fire affecting the roof space of the same dwelling.

"A number of appliances were mobilised to extinguish this. There were no people injured and firefighters left the scene at 2pm on Saturday, March 14.”