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Victims of flats fire to return before Christmas
7:00am Wednesday 27th June 2012 in Didcot
A BLOCK of Didcot flats gutted by fire on Good Friday will get a £400,000 refit so that housing association tenants can move back in time for Christmas.
Dozens of people were forced to leave the block in Venners Water on the Ladygrove estate after fire broke out during the early hours of April 6.
The blaze started in a top-floor flat and left two people needing hospital treatment.
Scott Black, a spokesman for Newcastle-based Home Group, said Hill Construction has now been appointed to start work after structural engineers spent weeks assessing the damage.
He added that staff were expected to start work on Monday, July 2, with the refurbishment completed in November so tenants can be rehoused in time for Christmas.
About 40 people from 11 families lived in the flats and they all needed to be rehoused.
Six families chose to stay with relatives, while five families were found emergency accommodation at the Premier Inn and Apple Cart restaurant at the Milton interchange off the A34.
Earlier this month Kelly Jones, 21, revealed that she and her two daughters, Skye, three, and Brooke, one, were still at the hotel more than two months after the fire caused water damage at her flat.
She was rehoused in a three-bedroom house in Mendip Heights, Didcot, last week and only one other family now remains in the hotel.
She said: “Living at Venners Water once it has been rebuilt will be better than living at the Premier Inn.”