A HOUSE has been burgled less than a month after a major fire forced a family from their home.

Ivan Browne was hailed for saving his family after the fire engulfed their home at Pilot Hight Road, West Howe on September 1.

Now the family faces yet more devastation after their only salvageable items were ransacked.

A TV, games console and a stack of games were taken after the family were moved to temporary accommodation.

Terry Browne, Ivan's uncle, said it was a 'disgusting' act that has pushed his parents to breaking point.

"To think someone so petty-minded thought 'I can have something from there' - it's just disgusting," he said.

"If someone had just burgled the house you deal with it. But they have preyed on their vulnerability. Talk about kicking someone when they're down.

"It's an outrage really. It's gone up in smoke and there's a chance they could lose it completely."

Terry's mother has recently battled cancer, while his father suffers from a number of health issues. They have been living in a hotel since the fire which Terry says is not an adequate long-term solution for his parents, who may never be allowed to move back to their home.

The council has told the family it may take up to a year to restore the property, Terry said.

"The council are trying to rehome them and they have been told everything will be cleared but they may not return.

"Now they don't know if they are going to get their house back. It's going to be another kick in the teeth.

"The upside is they have their lives. And even just after having cancer - she's a fighter alright.

"But the fact is that someone has taken advantage of their loss and made it worse."

As previously reported, 18-year-old Ivan smelled burning when he raised the alarm at around 5.30am and shouted for his gran, grandad, uncle and even the family dog, Kenzie, to get out.

The brave man then ran upstairs with a bucket out of water and kicked down the door before dousing the flames.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police confirmed that, at the time of going to print, no one had been arrested for the burglary which happened some time before September 20.

"If you saw or heard anything regarding this crime or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area please contact Dorset Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 quoting reference number 55160142723," he said.