A FAMILY of three generations, and their 10 dogs, are being forced to live in a cramped caravan more than 18 months after a fire destroyed their home. 

Mary Sparkes, her husband Christopher, daughter Amy and two granddaughters, aged 13 and 3, have been living in a three-bedroom static caravan in the garden of their bungalow for nearly a year.

Their bungalow in Alresford Road, near Morn Hill, was torn apart by a blaze, in August 2022, when a bonfire on their smallholding reignited.

After nearly a year of living in daughter Becky Sparkes-Owen’s three-bedroom flat in Kings Worthy with her partner and three kids, while dad Christopher slept in the shed with the dogs, the family moved into their cramped caravan.

READ MORE: Fire at Winchester bungalow in Alresford Road leaves family and their ten dogs homeless

Hampshire Chronicle: Inside the bungalow following the fireInside the bungalow following the fire (Image: Adele Bouchard)

With the building work costing more than expected, and having already paid more than £110,000, getting their home back still seems like a dream.

The family need around £40,000 to pay for a kitchen, bathroom, plastering, electricity, windows and doors. However, because the fire took everything, they have run out of money and are battling for more insurance money.

Hampshire Chronicle: Mary and her eldest grandchildMary and her eldest grandchild

Mary, 63, said: “It’s been traumatic, a horrendous experience. Unfortunately, the insurance didn’t come out with a glowing report.

“Our youngest granddaughter has always lived with us. She was only around 18 months when it all happened and now she’s nearly four. She’s barely known our house.

“The hardest part has been this winter when it was so wet. If we could fund the extra few thousand the builder could finish the job.

“Half of the building was completely demolished but the other half wasn’t too bad but as it was left to the elements the weather got in so the costs have kept going up. It’s a very long tunnel but we can just about see the light.”

Hampshire Chronicle: The current state of the bungalowThe current state of the bungalow (Image: Becky Sparkes-Owen)

SEE ALSO: Curdridge mansion fire classified as accidental by investigation team

Becky, 39, said: “They have got a shell of a house, with no kitchen or bathroom. It’s so frustrating for Mum because she can see that the house is there it just doesn’t have windows or doors and the caravan gets very damp very quickly. The girls are growing up too and need extra room.

“Dad’s got dementia now from the post-traumatic stress of the fire. He lost his job and they haven't got any finances, just my sister’s income. Stressful is a bit of an understatement. It’s been a very long road and we’re winging it at the moment.”

Fire crews from Winchester, Alresford, Eastleigh, Whitchurch, Alton, Hightown and Redbridge battled the blaze using jets, hose reels and the ultra-high-pressure lance. The fire was so intense that 16 firefighters had to wear breathing apparatus.