Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Family who lost everything in Bickington blaze thank generous strangers

11:30 19 February 2014

Melanie Goldsmith-Aston, Franklyn Robinson and six-year-old Ruby have been overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers after a fire destroyed all of their belongings.

Melanie Goldsmith-Aston, Franklyn Robinson and six-year-old Ruby have been overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers after a fire destroyed all of their belongings.

Archant

The young family were ‘overwhelmed’ when a number of strangers donated items of furniture after everything they owned was destroyed in fire.

The scene of the fire at Bickington today (Sat).The scene of the fire at Bickington today (Sat).

A YOUNG family have been ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the generosity of strangers after a house fire destroyed everything they owned on Saturday.

Franklyn Robinson, 28, and Melanie Goldsmith-Aston, 29, had been storing their belongings in Victoria Cottage in Bickington before they moved into their new flat in Braunton today (Weds).

But on Saturday just before 5pm fire fighters were called to flames issuing from the house and spent hours battling the blaze which has left the property as a charred shell.

The scene of the fire in Bickington the morning after.The scene of the fire in Bickington the morning after.

‘Absolutely devastated’

“We had been staying in the George Hotel in Braunton which my uncle owns and all we had here was a bed frame,” Franklyn, who works as a chef at the pub, told the Gazette.

“On Saturday night my friend rang me and told me what had happened – we are just absolutely devastated.

“Everything we have in the world was in the house – brand new furniture, beds, chairs, sofas and everything we’d bought for my daughter Ruby’s room as well.”

‘Completely overwhelmed’

Franklyn contacted the Items for Sale Barnstaple page on Facebook to explain what had happened and ask if anyone had a double mattress for sale.

“We thought if we only had a mattress we could make do and build up everything else as we went along,” said Franklyn.

But the couple were amazed when dozens of strangers started responding to the post, donating items of furniture, clothes, cutlery and bags of toys for six-year-old Ruby.

“We just couldn’t believe how many people donated things; we were completely overwhelmed and still can’t get our heads around it,” said Melanie.

Facebook page administrator Robert Chugg gave up his time and fuel to travel around to the well-wishers and fill his van with the items for the couple.

Melanie added: “We are so grateful to him for giving up his time, and to everyone who donated – they’ll never understand how much it means to us.”

‘Can’t thank everyone enough’

The couple are now hoping to move on, and said as they can start to buy their own belongings again, they hope they can give the donations to a good cause.

Melanie added: “We just want to give something back and can’t thank everyone enough.”

The cause of the fire, which saw Bickington Road closed for several hours while fire fighters fought to contain it, is still under investigation.

Related articles

1 comment

  • I was more than happy to help, I would also like to say a massive thanks to my wife Tilly for all the logistic side and my hired help Paul aka "monkey" for help loading!

    Report this comment

    n.chugg

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Other News Stories

35 minutes ago

Support our Light Up A Life appeal 2016 and make a donation to Children’s Hospice South West or North Devon Hospice

Read more

The Businesses of Bideford put on a festive evening of fun at Bideford’s late night shopping event.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:36

Roads in Barnstaple, Bideford and Torrington named as part of £1.9million resurfacing and patching programme to take place before end of April

Read more
Yesterday, 10:49

There were mince pies and mead at the annual Bideford Town Council lease signing ceremony this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:42

Want to win dinner for two at North Devon Street Food market? Enter our competition here.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

Bideford Rugby Football Club pitch will make the perfect landing pad for emergency helicopters

Read more
Yesterday, 08:55

There will be plenty of festive cheer in Bideford as the businesses put on a late night shopping event.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:48

Bideford’s brand new Lidl store is set to open in Clovelly Road this week with some special offers for customers.

Read more
Mon, 16:24

Sighting was only the sixth ever recorded in the UK – and the first in England

Read more
Mon, 11:33

Stagecoach say routes have been redesigned following feedback from bus users

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications