A mother and daughter from Daventry say they have been overwhelmed by the support from the community after their house was gutted by fire.
Emma Barnsley and her daughter Jessica have been living in a hotel since the blaze, but say they want to thank people for their support and help.
Emma woke early on Monday July 13 to discover her bed and bedroom at their home in Hood Road, on the Southbrook, was on fire.
The pair scrambled to get out of the house and rescue some items.
Emma said: “I woke up because my hand was getting warm from the fire.
“We managed to save some things; a wash basket of clothes, mobile phones, our handbags. We also managed to rescue our pet tortoise as well. But some of the things we saved have been condemned since then because you can’t get the smell of smoke out of them.”
They made it out with Emma receiving minor injuries from breathing in the smoke and heat.
Emma said: “If I hadn’t have woken up from the heat at that time I’d have probably died. And then I wouldn’t have been able to wake Jessica up.”
But almost everything that remained in their home has been lost, either to the fire or to smoke damage.
The property itself has been condemned inside as the fire weakened the first floor and burned into the loft as well.
Jessica said: “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet what’s happened. I keep thinking ‘oh, I need to pop home and get this’ but then I remember it’s not there any more.”
But within hours of the fire people started to rally round and help.
Emma said: “We got to go back in one last time on Wednesday last week and people helped us get things out.
“Then a friend, Nichola Cummins, set up a donations page online at http://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/nichola-cummins. The first thing we knew about it was when Jessica saw it on Facebook.”
The page asked for donations to help pay for new furniture, setting a goal of raising £200. At the time of going to press that total stood at £245.
Emma said: “We’re both overwhelmed by it. We are known because of the work we do at the Southbrook Community Centre. The support from the community has been amazing.
“We’d both like to thank them all so much for their support and their kind messages.
“Our housing association have been great too – Bedfordshire Pilgrims. They moved us into the Daventry Court Hotel. The staff at the hotel have been wonderful too – even though they’re fully booked on Saturday night so we can’t stay there they’ve offered to look after some of our things.”