A WEST Albury single mother yesterday said Housing NSW had let her down after fires that destroyed her home.
She said she had not been allowed back into the Cassia Street house to collect her belongings for four months.
Sonya O’Bryan, 34, had rented her Housing NSW home for almost nine years before two fires destroyed it.
The first, on May 26, badly damaged the front of the house and the roof. The second, on July 28, burnt a bedroom.
Albury police said both were deliberately lit. No arrests have been made and investigations continue.
Ms O’Bryan was placed with her four children, aged 14, 11, 7 and 1, in a nearby house soon after the first blaze.
The single mother said she had given Housing NSW a list of belongings she believed recoverable, including her purse that was in her bedroom and not affected by the first fire.
When she did not hear from them, she acted, slipping through the temporary gates at the front of the property and grabbing her purse.
“It was a good save,” Ms O’Bryan said yesterday.
She said she did not know how many more of her things had been burnt in the fire two months later.
“I lost a lot of stuff because they did not get back to me before that second fire,” she said. “I’m really disgusted. They’ve let me down.”
Ms O’Bryan contacted The Border Mail this week after being told the house would be demolished.
She hoped for a last look for sentimental items, such as a wedding dress, that might have survived the second fire.
Housing NSW yesterday said a contractor would search the home this morning before it was demolished.
“Why did it take you guys to have to contact them for them to see me?” Ms O’Bryan said.
“They should have got back to me ages ago. The real disappointment is it takes the paper to contact them.”
A Housing NSW spokesman said safety issues had caused the delay.
“People expect things can happen straight away, but we’re talking about a seriously damaged house so things can’t happen as quickly as anyone would like,” he said.”
Ms O’Bryan said the fires had had an emotional impact on her and her children — “I’m trying not to cry now to be honest”.