Generous response to blaze victims
Any impression that Ashford is an uncaring town was cast aside this week when residents in their hundreds responded to an appeal to help two families left homeless after a major house blaze.
A semi-detached house in Brenchley Close, Stanhope, was completely gutted by the fire on Monday evening and its neighbouring property suffered water and smoke damage.
Within hours of the immense scale of the damage becoming apparent – largely thanks to postings on Facebook – the social networking site was being used by friends and family of the two affected families to launch an appeal for items to be donated to replace those destroyed in the fire.
The response was rapid and overwhelming, with the Facebook group – entitled Please help a family who have lost everything tonight – attracting 1,400 members and a mass of pledges of help.
The British Volunteer pub, in New Street, Ashford, kindly volunteered to act as a donation point and was promptly inundated with household goods and cash from more than 600 people. Landlord Lee Stanley said: “We just can’t believe the response. It has been amazing.”
So out of a case human suffering has come a demonstration of human kindness.
It’s a heartwarming demonstration that there are plenty of people out there in Ashford still willing to come forward and help others when the chips are down.