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Newmarket mum left homeless after blaze grateful for 'amazing help' from community

The fire tore through the Newmarket home (7157382)
The fire tore through the Newmarket home (7157382)

A mother, who escaped with her four children as fire tore through their Newmarket home, has said an emotional thank you to everyone who has rallied round to help them get back on their feet.

Dona Martin, her son and three daughters, aged between seven and 14, lost everything on the first floor of their home in Charles Close in the blaze on January 27. Downstairs rooms were also badly damaged by water and smoke.

Friend Samantha Harrison quickly set up a Justgiving page, which now stands at nearly £900, and other gifts of cash and household items have also been donated by wellwishers, many of them anonymously.

“I have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of the people of Newmarket. Thank you is not a big enough word for the help and support and just pure kindness that has been shown to me and my family,” said Dona.

“People like to knock the town but I’m not having any of that. It’s an amazing community and the way everybody has rallied round has been overwhelming and I am just so grateful to them all.”

Charles Close, Newmarket (7157390)
Charles Close, Newmarket (7157390)

She said that following a mention on the website at All Saints’ School, where her two youngest daughters are pupils, donations flooded in.

“The school office was choc-a-bloc with clothes and toys which people had brought in for us. We have also been given a fridge-freezer and a dining room table and chairs and loads of other household items which have all helped us get back to normal.”

The family is currently in a two-bedroom home provided by Flagship Housing as temporary accommodation.

“It’s a bit of a squash but that doesn’t matter,” said Dona, “We are just thankful to have a roof over our heads and to have what we need to carry on while we wait until we can go home.”

A Flagship spokesman said the scope of the work on the damaged house was being assessed.