Thanks for the kindness of strangers

A couple who lost everything in a devastating house fire say they are 'gobsmacked' by the support from friends, family and complete strangers.

Dave and Marlene Fair have had to move in with family in Houghton Regis after fire swept through their Eaton Bray home last Monday night.

The blaze was caused by a faulty vacumn cleaner Marlene was using at their High Street home.

She managed to escape but the downstairs of the house was destroyed and most of upstairs was badly damaged.

Now the community has rallied round with offers of help, furniture and cash to aid the couple to get back on their feet.

“It’s out of this world,” said Dave, aged 52. “I can’t believe the amount of people who met up and helped. People are offering us services such as painters and decorators.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked and don’t know how to say thank you to them.

Marlene, aged 56, was helped from the house by a passerby called Kevin, and a neighbour, Elle, stayed with her until Dave arrived back from work.

“Village life, you can’t beat it,” said Dave, who has lived in Eaton Bray for the past eight years.

The couple married six years ago after being together for 15 years.

A gofundme page has already raised £730.

Beverley Douglas, who did not know the couple before she started the page, says the response has been amazing.

“They have lost everything,” she said. “I was in tears when I heard. All I have done is organise some people.

“If it wasn’t for the kindess of the community nothing would have happened, it’s been amazing.”

Beverley has since met the couple and helped clear out their home.

“I don’t know the people who have been donating money but there have also been donations of furniture,” she said

Local companies have also been helping out. An Edlesborough firm has ofered to refloor the home while painters and decorators have also offereed their services.

A dry cleaners in Leighton Buzzard also offered to drop its prices to clean Marlene’s wedding dress, which was badly smoke damaged.

“I’m humbled, amazed and proud of the community,” said Beverley.

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