Members of a showing family are trying to rebuild after a “catastrophic” fire claimed their homes, yard and the lives of four dogs.
All horses were evacuated from the yard in Twynging, Gloucestershire, last Thursday (6 February) but everything else – a mobile home, a flat, 20 stables and other outbuildings – were lost.
Mandy Nevin is a friend of the family; showing rider Skye Holdsworth, who lived in the flat, and her mother Jacqui Falconer and stepfather Steve Falconer, who lived in the mobile.
Mandy is appealing for help for the stricken family. A fundraising page linked here has been set up but she says they would also benefit from any offers of help to rebuild.
“It’s total devastation,” she told H&H. “There’s nothing left.
“All the stables were in an internal barn and luckily they got all the horses out but everything else has gone. The stable building was uninsurable as well as it counted as a non-standard building so they’re destitute.
“They haven’t got a saddle or a bridle – some saddles they’d had 40 years – they’ve lost pictures of their favourite horses, all the rosettes and sashes. Horsey people will be able to imagine how they feel.”
Mandy said the fire started in a tumble drier in the mobile home, which was in flames within minutes. The fire then engulfed the rest of the yard.
“The mobile went up in about five minutes; Steve didn’t even have time to get a coat,” she said. “It was horrendous; if it had been in the middle of the night, no horses or animals would have survived. As it was, the fire brigade said it was amazing they’d got out. Luckily, there was someone in the yard who had the foresight to open all the doors and let the horses out.
“Everything’s gone. To see it the next day was equally devastating.”
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Mandy said the horses have been taken in by various yards including her own, although her stables are set to be demolished next month for building works, and that the family is living in a touring caravan on site.
“Then of course, we had the storms this weekend, which made things even worse,” she said. “They would never ask for help for themselves but they’re as low as it’s possible to be. A lot of people willing to help a little bit could do an awful lot of good.”
Anyone who could offer help is asked to call Mandy on 07837 998146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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