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Hengrave family 'starting from scratch' after large fire destroys home



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A family who lost their home in a devastating fire at a thatched building have described people’s kindness as ‘incredible’ as they start from scratch.

More than £4,000 has so far been raised for Claire and Sean Pickering and their 11-year-old son Spyke whose Hengrave home was largely destroyed in a huge blaze at the historic cottage on April 25.

Family members have launched a crowdfunding page to help them replace their belongings as they have ‘lost everything’ – bar a few special items – in the fire.

Claire and Sean Pickering have lost their home in the fire in Hengrave
Claire and Sean Pickering have lost their home in the fire in Hengrave

While they do have insurance and that is being looked into, Claire’s sister Tyler Warren said the financial donations were to ‘keep them going for now and get them sorted’.

Claire, who had lived there with Sean for 13 years, said: “The firemen were amazing and I can’t thank them enough.

“They saved my wedding ring, family photos, and some of Spyke’s precious toys. My family and friends have been so supportive and have helped us so much.

The fire in Hengrave started on April 25 Picture: Mecha Morton
The fire in Hengrave started on April 25 Picture: Mecha Morton

“The kindness of people is incredible. My house was so beautiful and quirky and is still my favourite place even in the state it is.

“We’re starting from scratch but we’re all safe and that’s what’s most important.”

The fire was at a historic building believed to be 400 years old. Picture: Brandon Fire Station
The fire was at a historic building believed to be 400 years old. Picture: Brandon Fire Station

The family’s cat, Silas had also ‘luckily’ turned up after a ‘horrific’ few days of uncertainty not knowing whether he was safe, said Tyler, 30, a nurse.

She said the fire ‘ripped through the whole house’, adding: “There’s not really anything left.”

The Pickering family have moved into a flat, but it is unfurnished so they face those costs, as well as having to replace essentials like clothes.

Claire and Sean Pickering with son Spyke when he was younger. They are one of the families to have lost their home in the fire in Hengrave in April (56467172)
Claire and Sean Pickering with son Spyke when he was younger. They are one of the families to have lost their home in the fire in Hengrave in April (56467172)

The Hengrave building involved in the blaze contained four homes.

The fire investigation is ongoing.

To make a donation visit www.gofundme.com/f/helping-family-in-tragic-house-blaze