Banburyshire village launches fundraising campaign to help family after fire heavily damages thatch cottage
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A fire completely gutted a thatched cottage in Hornton on Sunday afternoon (May 31). Thankfully the occupants were not inside.
At least six appliances and specialist units from neighbouring fire services attended the blaze at Crosby Cottage in Miller's Lane.
Firefighters from the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service along with the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Buckingham Fire and Rescue Service all responded to the fire.
The village lost electricity for some hours during the firefighting operation.
A fundraising campaign has been launched by the Hornton Village Parish Council to help the occupants of the home - Paul Murray and Julie Richards.
The Crosby Cottage Fire Fund has already doubled its fundraising target of £1,000.
As of 12pm today supporters have raised £2,130 to aid Paul and Julie of Crosby Cottage through this difficult time.
Anyone who would like to make a contribution to the fund can use the following web link to the Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/crosby-cottage-fire-fundJohn Offord, the chair of the Hornton Village Parish Council, said: "We have been doing quite a few things in the village with COVID-19. So the village has been very together on that and a lot of other issues.
The council launched the Just Giving web page after some parishioners asked if the council could help the family.
Cllr Offord also said the council has also written to the chief of fire service at the Banbury Fire Station to show their thanks and gratitude for the response from the fire by the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Firefighters even stayed at the cottage all night to prevent fire reigniting. The village pub, The Dun Cow, provided meals for the firefighters who stayed overnight at the cottage.
He added: "The fire service was amazing in terms of response. We're normally a fairly quiet village. It was an outstanding response."
The owners of a bed and breakfast in the village have provided the couple with a place to stay for at least two weeks.
The couple is very appreciative for all the support they've received.
Julie Richards made the following post on the village Facebook to show her gratitude:
"As you will all know we sadly lost most of our lovely home on Sunday. The emotions of watching your house burn down won’t disappear quickly, but the support we have received from everyone in the village has been overwhelming and really helped lighten our spirits.
"We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for everything you have done for us over the past few days.
"From those who brought us food and water on Sunday to the lovely people who have sent flowers, delivered meals and clothes - you are all wonderful.
"A special mention to the heroic people who moved our cars and saved a few of our sentimental photos and possessions.
"Thank you to the fantastic pub who kept the firemen fed and watered throughout the whole ordeal, and to the incredible fire service who worked tirelessly to ensure everyones safety.
"It is impossible to name everyone individually, but we hope that one day soon we might get the chance to thank you all personally and buy you a very large drink!
"We have lost lots of beautiful, sentimental and irreplaceable things, but nobody is hurt, and buildings can be replaced.
"The next phase will be long and disruptive to the whole village as we reconstruct our home (and lives), but we appreciate your patience and understanding.
Best wishes to you all, and lets all hope for better times ahead. I think we can all agree that 2020 can just finish up now!
"With Love, Paul & Julie."