Fundraising appeal launched for young Sheffield family who lost everything in arson attack
An online fundraising page has been set up for a family after a blaze – which was started deliberately – ripped through their home at the weekend.
Devvon Lee was in bed in the early hours of Saturday, February 9, struggling to sleep at 26 weeks pregnant, when she heard a noise downstairs and, after waking up her boyfriend Jordan who lay asleep next to her, went to investigate.
But, after reaching the ground floor she was met with a horrifying sight.
She said: “I woke Jordan up as I could hear something and thought we were getting burgled. I could smell smoke, but I thought it smelt like the toaster so I went downstairs and just saw orange flames at the back doors.”
“There was smoke everywhere, it just didn’t seem real and felt like a dream.”
The 22-year-old had moved into the maisonette on Batemoor Place, Batemoor, just three weeks ago with Jordan and one-year-old daughter Indie-Rose.
Since then the pair had been eagerly decorating in preparation for their new arrival and had just laid new flooring downstairs.
Upon seeing the flames begin to engulf the room the family fled their home and called the fire service, who later determined the fire had been started deliberately after someone set alight a pile of cardboard at the back of the building.
“We just out quickly,” Devvon added. “I ran upstairs and quickly grabbed my daughter and just ran, I didn’t even have any shoes on.
“If she would have stopped in that room she would have died, that room was the worst affected.”
Luckily, all three managed to escape, and were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and minor burns.
However, with no home insurance or savings, they have been forced to stay with family and have lost not only their home but all personal belongings and new baby items bought for their son.
Devvon said: “We all managed to get out safe, but we’ve lost everything. The only thing that could be saved were the cooker and the washer.
“The flames spread, and everything is just smoke damaged. I can’t even go back there, it is horrible, I just can't bear to see it.
“I just want to get back home and get everything back to normal, we're devastated.”
After speaking to Sheffield City Council, they have now been told it could take up to a week for them to be rehoused, with no guarantee where in Sheffield that could be.
So, in an effort help them rebuild their lives family members have started a fundraising appeal, and are asking the public for donations towards replacing all that was lost.
Meanwhile, South Yorkshire police, who were called just just after 5am on Saturday morning, have launched an investigation into the incident and are on the hunt for the arsonist responsible.
Enquires are ongoing and anybody with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 208 of February 9.
On December 23, 2005, the home of Anthony Brightmore, aged 68, and his wife Patricia, 65 on Batemoor Walk, went up in flames after a wheelie bin was set alight outside their door, killing the pair.
Their blind son Stephen, 35, initially survived, although the extent of his burns were so severe he lost his fight for life two days later.
A 15-year-old boy later went on trial accused of manslaughter but was found not guilty and the case was closed, with detectives announcing that they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the fatal arson attack.