Newton Poppleford couple warn homeowners to check documents as they struggle to rebuild

PUBLISHED: 12:30 24 September 2018

Mike Kendall at his burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1613. Picture: Terry Ife

Mike Kendall at his burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1613. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

A couple who lost everything when their bungalow was destroyed by fire are warning others to check their insurance policy as they face an ongoing battle to rebuild their home.

The hallway at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1621. Picture: Terry IfeThe hallway at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1621. Picture: Terry Ife

Madeleine Perigueux and Michael Kendall watched the blaze tear through their property in Little Down Orchard last July.

Maddy was inside getting ready for work and Mike out walking the dog when their Hotpoint fridge caught fire in the garage.

Now 14 months later, they have been told that the insurance they have taken out is a ‘non-advisory policy’ and does not cover the entire cost of rebuilding their home.

It prompted the couple to get in touch with the Herald to urge homeowners to check their insurance to make sure they do not suffer the same experience.

The hallway at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1622. Picture: Terry IfeThe hallway at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1622. Picture: Terry Ife

Maddy said: “I was going to have a shower, I was having a cup of tea and watching the news, I went into the kitchen and put the kettle on then the TV went off and I heard a loud bang.

“Within seconds, there was the most almighty bang and then there was Mike banging on the window yelling ‘get out’.”

She was left with no clothing and said they have been ‘eternally grateful’ to those who have helped them in the aftermath of the incident.

Crews from across Devon battled for five hours to try and save the property, which was 85 per cent damaged by fire and 100 per cent damaged by smoke and water.

The lounge at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1619. Picture: Terry IfeThe lounge at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1619. Picture: Terry Ife

The couple lost all of their possessions, including Mike’s RAF uniform and medals.

Maddy said: “We’re fighting them [the insurers] on all corners.

“I would say to everybody, make copies and put your copies somewhere and check your policy.

“The money we have had to put in to rebuild the house we were going to use to alter it so I wouldn’t be going back to the same house.

The kitchen at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1615. Picture: Terry IfeThe kitchen at the burnt out property in Newton Poppleford. Ref shs 38 18TI 1615. Picture: Terry Ife

“Because of the effect it has had on me, I do not know what it will be like when we move back in.”

Mike added: “We were informed that the sum of £35,000 was to be deducted from the build monies leaving us with £150,000 for the rebuild – insufficient funds to complete the rebuild.

“The claim has taken far too long to settle. We have now been out of our home for a year and almost nothing has been done to the site. We must start moving forward with this rebuild.”

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