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Home   Ashford   News   Article

Two Ashford families made homeless after fire in Stanhope gutted home and caused water damage to neighbour's

15 January 2014
by Samantha Williams
Hundreds of household items have been donated to two Ashford families after a blaze left them homeless and with nothing.
 
It comes after flames destroyed a home at Brenchley Close, Stanhope - causing entire floors to collapse.
 
Around 40 firefighters tackled the blaze in the two-storey, semi-detached home on Monday night.
Donations have been pouring in after a family was made homeless in a fire in Stanhope

Donations have been pouring in after a family was made homeless in a fire in Stanhope

Within hours of the fire, hundreds of people had joined a Facebook group titled ‘Please help a family who have lost everything tonight’.  
 
A poster on the page claimed the family living next door had also been made homeless due to water damage.
 
By this morning, the group had about 1,500 members.
Collections have been taken to the British Volunteer pub

Collections for the fire victims have been taken to the British Volunteer pub

It called for any donations, in particular clothing, to be dropped at The British Volunteer, in New Street, Ashford. 
 
Generous people were offering anything from beds and other furniture to toys and an electric fire - with more than 600 items donated by yesterday afternoon.
 
Others offered to collect donations and ferry them to the collection point.
 
Even Sainsbury's and Tesco's were said to have offered vouchers, while one member said they had contacted big businesses and even millionaires asking for help. 
Sackloads of donations have been collected

Sackloads of donations have been collected

British Volunteer landlord Lee Stanley and helper Paul Short

British Volunteer landlord Lee Stanley and helper Paul Short

 
Now, the owners of the pub have been inundated with donations from generous people all over Ashford.
 
Landlord Lee Stanley, who took over in April, said: “We just can’t believe the response. It has been amazing. 
 
“We decided to get involved after we saw something on Facebook on Monday night which said that all the family had was the clothes they were standing in.  
Fire engulfs a home in Brenchley Close in Stanhope. Picture @Kent_999s

Fire engulfs a home in Brenchley Close in Stanhope. Picture: @Kent_999s

 
“We put a message up saying people could use the pub as a drop-off point for anything.
 
“People have been handing in cash- someone donated a cheque for £250, others have given £20 or £30. Tesco also donated a £100 voucher. It has really shocked us.
 

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'We were worried the house was going to explode'

 

 
“We thought we would get a few bags but we have had so much. The family are basically having to start over again.”
 
The overwhelming response from people who have offered to donate clothing or money to the family appears to have united the Ashford community.  
The home was virtually destroyed by the blaze

The home was virtually destroyed by the blaze

 
James Goldfinger Hazeldon posted on  ‘Please help a family who have lost everything tonight’: “I love my town and am so proud that there is still community spirit alive.
 
“I love my town and am so proud that there is still community spirit alive" - James Goldfinger Hazeldon
 
"I was beginning to think these kind of acts may have been lost over the years but as I have mentioned before this is reminiscent of the blitz during WW2 when everyone pulled together in hard times.
 
"Keep it up Ashford you're doing a fantastic job so far.”
 
Paul Short added: “May I please say this has been amazing at how many people have joined this group so fast and that I am so proud to be an Ashfordian at this time of someone’s need.
 
"I don’t know either family but I just want to say a big THANKYOU to every one for the support.”

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