A FAMILY who waited a year for their home to be refurbished after a fire are appalled by the council’s repair work.

Lisa and Michael Annels, of Bexhill Road in Woodingdean, Brighton, had their world torn apart when their family home was destroyed in an accidental fire last October.

It forced them into temporary accommodation until two weeks ago, when they were told they could move back in.

The fire was started when someone dropped a lit cigarette which ignited the bamboo in the Annels’ garden. It spread to their house and gutting it.

However, when they returned to their home with seven-year-old son Freddie two weeks ago, they felt as if nothing had been done.

Mrs Annels, 27, said: “We didn’t have any gas for the first six days we were back and there were light switches hanging out of the sockets in our son’s bedroom. Luckily it wasn’t too cold so we didn’t need the heating on, but we make fresh meals and it stopped us cooking.”

The front door is charred from the smoke damage, floorboards are missing and their garden fence separating them from their neighbours is still broken.

The gas is now working and light switches have been fixed but Mrs Annels said she did not understand why they were allowed to move back into the house with so much left to do.

She said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting that they left it like that.

“Surely it is against health and safety to let us move back into the house when it is like that.

“Freddie has behaviour issues and could have put his finger in one of the sockets.”

Mrs Annels says the situation has caused distress for her and husband Michael, who suffers from depression and heart problems, along with high blood pressure.

She said: “I know they are doing the work for us but it’s not like it was our fault.

“This has caused so much stress which me and my husband don’t need.

“It literally feels like we are living in another house. It doesn’t feel like home any more.”

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Since moving back into her property Ms Annels has raised a number of concerns with us about its condition.

“We are investigating her concerns as a matter of urgency in conjunction with our housing repairs contractor, with a view to putting any problems right as soon as possible.”

The council did not say why the Annels were allowed to move back in to the house in that condition.

The contractor doing the work is Mears.