A FAMILY of 11 are trying to put their lives back together after the fire which devastated their home.

As the Leader revealed yesterday, 43-year-old mother Barbara Jones led seven of her 10 children to safety from their seven bedroom home in Western Circle, Caia Park, after fire broke out there early on Tuesday morning.

Neighbours and their own smoke alarm alerted them to the blaze, which is believed to have started in one of the bedrooms of the council home.

The property consists of two semi-detached council houses knocked into one to accommodate Barbara and her 10 children.

Yesterday, most of the family were staying at a friend’s home in the area while council chiefs arrange temporary accommodation.

As she sorted what was left of the children’s clothing, Barbara said: “The council says it will take about a week to find us somewhere, so we are staying with a friend.

“It’s been a terrible time and we are just working out what we’ve got left.

“I think a lot of the children’s clothing might have been destroyed.”

At the height of the fire, the cause of which is still being investigated by fire service experts, Barbara fought through thick smoke to lead children Arlene, 20, Lee, 14, Kiara, 12, Joshua, 10, Lilly, seven, Ellie May, five, and Jessica, four, to safety down one of the house’s two staircases.

Two older children and the baby, 14-month-old Isabella, were staying elsewhere so were not in the house at the time.

Barbara added: “The house can be rebuilt but the main thing is that all my kids are safe.”