A fundraiser set up in the wake of a suspected gas blast that killed a young child and destroyed three houses has raised more than £20,000 in just over four hours.
Residents of Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire, were woken in the early hours of Sunday by an explosion which left nearby streets and fields covered with debris.
Heather Brandwood set up a GoFundMe appeal after seeing the explosion on the news.
We have woken up to the truly devastating news of what has happened on Mallowdale Avenue and our immediate thoughts are…
She told the PA news agency: “Although we don’t know any of the people personally, we don’t need to know someone’s name or face to help them.
“People have really pulled together as a community, it’s really humbling.
“Anything we can do that might relieve a bit of pressure and a little bit of stress for those involved is worth doing.”
She said residents have been queuing in the car park of her pub the Hurley Flyer in nearby Morecambe to donate clothing and toiletries for evacuated residents. Donations are also being accepted at its sister pub, the Bellflower in Preston.
Both pubs, she added, will provide free food and water to any families that have been left unable to return to their homes.
Ms Brandwood said: “We are very conscious that people were evacuated from their homes with immediate effect. We have heard from an elderly couple who left in their pyjamas. There is a woman who is in literally nothing but her nightie.
“The general public has been fantastic.
“There are a lot of people who want to do good, but they don’t know how to go about doing it, so by putting something in place, they always rise to the challenge.
“There is a lot of goodwill in Morecambe.”
Donations can be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-residents-of-mallowdale-avenue