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Mick and Sonia Lane thank community after fire destroys home in Highfield Road, Halfway

A couple who lost their home in a devastating fire on Boxing Day say they cannot thank the community enough for the support they have received.

Mick and Sonia Lane had been out visiting family when the blaze ripped through their property, destroying everything inside and leaving them with “nothing but the clothes they were standing in”.

Six fire engines were required to combat the fire at the bungalow in Highfield Road, Halfway, on the Isle of Sheppey, which broke out at around 2.45pm.

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Mick and Sonia Lane
Mick and Sonia Lane

Since then, several fundraising campaigns have been launched to help them rebuild their home.

Mr Lane, 53, said he and his wife of eight years, will be “forever thankful” to the community.

He said: “People have been offering us furniture, clothes, food and all sorts.

“They have been more than generous and we want to thank them all for their kind wishes and support through these hard times.

VIDEO: The aftermath of the fire

“We moved into our home last February, so we didn’t really know anybody but everyone on the Island has been so good to us.

“It really is overwhelming.”

Mr and Mrs Lane, who have three daughters and four grandchildren, said they are “gradually coming to terms” with losing their home and are grateful that nobody was hurt.

The night before the blaze, the couple’s grandchildren - Harry, six, and one-year-old Annabelle - stayed overnight.

Crews tackling the fire in Halfway last Boxing Day
Crews tackling the fire in Halfway last Boxing Day

Mr Lane said: “On Boxing Day, we always do something with our family, so we set off for my sister-in-law’s house in Romford at about 12.15pm.

“We was just coming onto the A2 when we realised we’d forgotten the cold meat for the buffet so we turned around and went home, and everything was fine.

“But when we got to Romford, it seemed like we wasn’t there an hour when we had a phone call from a neighbour to tell us our house was alight. We jumped in the car and came straight back.”

The fire is suspected to have started either through a Sky box or television. And, while forensics carry out investigations, the couple are staying at The Shurland Hotel in Eastchurch.

Damage caused to the bungalow in Highfield Road, Halfway
Damage caused to the bungalow in Highfield Road, Halfway

The rebuild of the Lanes’ home could take between nine months to a year, depending on whether the bungalow’s original foundations can be used or if the property has to be demolished completely.

Mr Lane said: “The only word that could describe how we felt when we saw our home after the fire is devastated. All we have left are the clothes that we had on our backs that day.

“We are just grateful that no one was hurt. If it had happened while we were asleep, who knows what would have happened.”

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