THE call has gone out across Ilfracombe and North Devon to rally around the victims of the devastating Hillsborough Terrace fire which claimed their homes, possessions and left some with only the clothes they stood up in. Ilfracombe and District Rotary Cl
THE call has gone out across Ilfracombe and North Devon to rally around the victims of the devastating Hillsborough Terrace fire which claimed their homes, possessions and left some with only the clothes they stood up in.Ilfracombe and District Rotary Club has launched an appeal to help the 13 left homeless in a single night begin to rebuild their shattered lives.Flames were seen erupting from the four-storey Victorian terraced building on Thursday tea time, with many of the residents -including children and the elderly - forced to climb out of windows and on to the roof top next door. There were no serious injuries, but a cat and dog perished in the inferno. The helpless occupants could do little but stand and watch as 80 fire fighters - 10 pumping appliances and the aerial ladder from Barnstaple - fought the blaze to a standstill and finally subdued it.Ilfracombe Rotary swung into action to deal with the aftermath and while High Street Baptist Church stepped in to offer the shell-shocked tenants a bed for the night, Rotarians came up with emergency funds to provide them with the basics such as toiletries and clothing."Seven flats were destroyed, many were not insured and these people - some of whom are quite vulnerable - have lost everything," said Paul Yabsley, club president and district councillor."It's been very traumatic for them and we are appealing for the people of Ilfracombe to make donations of money or items such as furniture to help them restart their lives."The people at the church were fantastic. I believe they got quilts from Mullacott Caravans, fed them and bedded them down for the night before giving them breakfast again in the morning."Mr Yabsley went on: "Initially we are appealing for donations of money but shortly we will be calling for furniture or whatever they might need to begin again."We're also trying to find a flat for one of the Hillsborough residents who has three dogs, so if anyone has somewhere they can rent out we would like to hear from them."The appeal has received the full backing of the town council, which has already made a donation of £500 to the fund. Financial donations can be left with Thomas Westcott - formerly Davison Bedworth - Accountants in Ilfracombe at 96, High Street. Cheques payable to Ilfracombe Rotary Club. Anyone who might have furniture or other essential items they wish to donate, or can help with the search for canine-friendly accommodation, is asked to call Paul Yabsley in the first instance on (01271) 867484.