An appeal has been launched in Banbury today (Sunday) to help a couple left homeless after their house was gutted by fire.
Friend Linda Wren, who lives not far from the couple in Mascord Road, launched the Go Fund Me page with a £100k target and within hours had received pledges of over £1,600 to help Stan and Pat Newman who were rescued after their home went up on flames in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Ms Wren said on the fundraising page: "Stan and Pat have lived in their house on Mascord Road for 55 or more years. On Saturday night, around midnight a fire broke out. The next door neighbour saved their dog. Pat has mobility problems and halfway down the stairs-the electrics went and her stairlift stopped working.
"The neighbour went back in, ran upstairs and lifted Pat out of the house. As they got to their front gate, the windows exploded and the entire house went up in flames. This man is a hero. The fire service were there immediately.
Ms Wren said in her appeal: "Stan and Pat left the house, with literally just the clothes on their back, their much loved dog and Pat’s handbag (saved by the firemen). In 2016, they lost their son Ian and kept the living room a shrine to him. The living room was totally burnt out along with Ian’s ashes and his photos."
Ms Wren said she had grown up on Mascord Road.
"Being part of this community has enabled me to feel safe and secure therefore I am setting up this page to try and help these people, as it has pulled on my heartstrings and I want to do what I can to make a difference to this horrific ordeal," she said.
"If you could spare any money, please donate to this fund page
"Imagine having one set of clothes for today, tonight, tomorrow,etc. If you know anyone that works in clothes and shoe shops, could their company possibly donate some vouchers or basic clothing and shoes? Also if anyone works at a pet shop, doggy donations are needed. Any donations, please contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org
"They really have nothing. They own their house and are currently sleeping at various families' houses. Please share the fundraising page and ask everyone to share it and hopefully as a community we can give something back. We cannot replace the possessions that have been lost, but we may make a difference to giving them a bit of hope."
The Banbury community has rallied round the couple offering to donate clothes and other essential items until they are able to be rehoused.