'The mornings don't seem so harsh': Mother who lost four children in a house fire tells how she's rebuilding her life after giving birth to baby boy
Siblings Tommy, 9, Alisha, 6, Rocco, 4 and Appolonia, 2, all died in the Derbyshire house blaze in January last year
An inquest ruled that a working smoke alarm and fire guard could have prevented the deathsHenson denied fleeing the fire and leaving her children inside as she jumped out of a bedroom window
Henson has moved back in to the renovated house with her fiance and baby
18:14 GMT, 30 October 2012
A mother who lost all four of her children in a devastating house fire has said she hopes to 'rebuild' her life after giving birth to a healthy baby boy.
Rachel Henson was left heartbroken when a blaze tore through her home in Hulland Ward, Derbyshire last January claiming the lives of her two sons and two daughters who were sleeping upstairs.
The 45-year-old hairdresser escaped the flames but children Tommy, nine, Alisha, six, Rocco, four, and Appolonia, two, all died.
New beginning: Rachel Henson, who lost four children in a house fire last January is hoping to rebuild her life after giving birth to a healthy baby boy
At an inquest into the fire in December 2011 Rachel denied jumping out of the window and leaving her son behind, saying she had been trying to push nine-year-old Tommy through the window to safety when she suddenly found herself falling.
The inquest also heard the
hairdresser had drunk a bottle and a half of wine after getting home
from work at 6.45pm, before going to bed at around 10pm.
A South Derbyshire coroner ruled that a working smoke alarm and fire guard could have prevented the deaths of Tommy and Appolonia Henson and Alisha and Rocco Henson-Nulty.
At an inquest into the fire in December Rachel denied jumping out of the window and leaving her son behind
A South Derbyshire coroner ruled that a working smoke alarm and fire guard could have prevented the children's deaths
After the fire Rachel said: 'Every day is very difficult but I feel it's slowly getting better. The mornings don't seem as harsh as they did at first.
'I replay it in my head every day but I've had lots of support – lots of cards and lovely flowers, people wishing me well for the future.'
Now Rachel is finally smiling again after having a boy with fiance Clint Eyre,
40, that the couple have named Roman. He was born on October 12,
weighing a healthy 8lb 8oz.
Rachel has also moved back into the newly renovated house where the tragedy took place on January 24 last year.
She said: 'He’s such a good baby. He never really cries. Looking after him is a distraction and I really enjoy it.
I wake up I go to him and fuss over him, instead of lying there
thinking about the children. There are still nights where I have bad
dreams and there are flashbacks.
'But I want to face these things and get over them. And having Roman with me is helping that so much.
Sisters: Two-year-old Appolonia (left) and six-year-old Alisha Henson (right) both died in the fire
Brothers: Four-year-old Rocco (left) and nine-year-old Tommy Henson (right), who alerted his mother to the fire
blaze started after a stray spark jumped from a newly installed
fireplace onto the living room floor, triggering a fire which spread rapidly
through the home.
Clouds of thick black smoke billowed up the stairwell into the bedrooms where the children were sleeping.
who lived as a single parent with her four children, was woken up by Tommy and tried to help her children escape but in the
ensuing chaos said she was thrown from a window of the property
and was then unable to re-enter the house and save them.
Cherished: Roman was born on October 12, weighing a healthy 8lb 8oz
Rebuilding their lives: Rachel and her fiance Clint Eyre have moved back in to the house following renovations
She added: 'Everything you look at in the house reminds you.
think about them every day, all the time. And there are nightmares and
flashbacks and things which just get me upset, without being able to
control it. But it does get easier.
'Roman reminds me of Tommy in the way he looks and some of the things he does.
'But I don’t really think about that. I can’t, not yet, it’s just too raw.
will never replace them, at all, and I don’t want to forget them. But
looking after him distracts me from thinking about them.'
had been living with Clint at his home in Cheadle, Staffs, before
moving back to the house where the fire took place. They plan to marry
in the next year, and may move again.
added: 'I felt I had to come back here and face this. I read about
soldiers who fought in wars going back to battlefields. I think it is
'I had to come back for myself. I don’t think we can stay here but I think we have done the right thing to move back.'
Devastated: Rachel Henson's home following the fire in 2011