FRIENDS and relatives of a South Yorkshire couple whose house was destroyed by fire are rallying round to help them rebuild it.
Natalie Mitchell, aged 22, and Nathan Gascoigne, 28, need to find around £30,000 to restore their semi on Windmill Road, North Anston, Rotherham, after it went up in flames.
Their insurance cover had lapsed and the house burned down two days before Nathan, an off-shore medic on a gas rig, was due to pay to take up a renewal quote.
It is not yet known what started the fire, which is thought to have broken out in the conservatory and ripped through the rest of the property in minutes.
The couple think an ember from a nearby bonfire may have landed on the conservatory and smouldered before the plastic eventually went up in flames.
Natalie, who is seven weeks pregnant and Nathan lost everything in the blaze, including their two-year-old daughter Ruby’s Christmas presents. Two kittens died in the blaze.
Natalie said: “Thankfully there are a lot of tradesmen in our family who are helping us out. Friends and family and even complete strangers have been coming up to the house with things for us - bags of clothes for Ruby and presents to replace those she lost,” she said.
“It makes you realise how many kind people there are out there.”
She said when she pulled up outside her house after receiving a phone call to say it was on fire, neighbours were standing outside shouting and trying to smash the glass to get in, thinking she was trapped inside.
When firefighters arrived the house was engulfed in flames and nothing could be saved.
To help the family raise the funds they need, friends and relatives have stripped off and posed for photographs for a risque calendar showing them carrying out household and DIY tasks.
A fundraising Chinese banquet is being planned to be held next month.
Anyone who can print up the calendar or donate cash can email Nathan’s uncle, Kevin Gascoigne, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07718 741 342.