Hitchin family thanks community for help in wake of devastating fire
PUBLISHED: 17:24 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:24 04 September 2019
More than £2,000 has been raised for a Hitchin family after a devastating fire at their maisonette last Thursday night.
Samantha Body and her three daughters escaped the fire in Dugdale Court and were initially left without a home or a change of clothes after the blaze caused major damage to the property.
The mum of three has praised North Herts District Council for quickly providing them with emergency accommodation, and has been left amazed by the generosity of the community after her daughter's football coach set up a JustGiving page on the family's behalf.
Sam told the Comet: "At about 10pm the smoke alarm started going off. They're quite sensitive and go off often so I didn't think much of it.
"It was only when it carried on for about 20 or 30 seconds I realised that was longer than usual.
"My little girl came down from the second bedroom and told me she saw a fire in the room where her five-year-old sister was sleeping."
Sam immediately took two of her daughters outside, told eight-year-old Sophia to alert the neighbours, and ran to collect her other child - five-year-old Darla - from upstairs.
Fortunately the family of four all got out of the house OK.
You may also want to watch:
Reflecting on the cause of the blaze, Sam said: "The mains from the fan had caught fire and the blaze had already spread to the curtains.
"Me, the girls, my neighbour and her kids had been out playing until about half nine so the fan had been on for less than an hour."
Friend and neighbour Ricki Rensch posted on Facebook page We Love Hitchin asking if anyone had items the family could have, and was inundated with offers.
Sam said: "I can't thank everybody enough. Everyone has been so generous.
"People have been turning up at my mum and dad's house with clothes and wishing us well, they've really been amazing. We're really grateful to everyone for their support."
Ricki added: "We as her friends and neighbours are so proud of Sam and the children.
"The whole neighbourhood is proud of her, she's a much-loved member of our road."
Crews from Stevenage, Letchworth & Baldock, and Hitchin attended the fire. A hose reel jet was used to extinguish the blaze and the incident was closed at 1.06am.
To support Sam and her daughters, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sarah-white-689.