An expecting couple have shared how they ‘lost everything’ while they were on a holiday.
Elly and Mark Goodman-Walsh from Harpenden, Hertfordshire were on a holiday with their 16-month-old son Ruben when their house got destroyed by fire.
Because of the devastating flames, they lost all their belongings and now they are starting again from scratch.
“We could never have comprehended just how bad it was. When we went in it was just mind-blowing. It was shocking,” Elly, who is pregnant with their second child, said.
She and Mark, 30, had moved to the area in 2020 only months after they welcomed their son.
They spent months decorating the house before moving in as their home. They still had some works in progress when the fire broke out while they were on a trip.
“Our little one Ruben had woken us up early as per usual, our phones were on silent in the bedroom and then I looked at my phone at 7am and I saw I had about seven missed calls from our next door neighbour and Mark had about the same,” Elly said.
“Then our next door neighbour said, ‘Elly, I don’t know how to tell you this but your house is on fire’.
“We then got our grandparents to come and quickly look after Ruben, they were were looking after our dog (Twiggy) for us anyway, thankfully she was nowhere near the house either.”
“Mark went there and then I went there. You immediately look at the house, and it’s ridiculous because in one way you’d never think this but in another way I think you do, you don’t realise the extent of the damage just looking at it,” she continued.
“I thought clearly I can see bits of roof missing and I can see that there’s so much smoke and there’s about nine different fire engines here from all over Hertfordshire, but it’s really unclear what the damage is.
“Then a fireman at the time said to me it’s literally as bad a house fire as you can get.”
In just a snap, the couple lost everything they worked for.
“Seeing parts of what had survived, like in my little boy’s room and in the baby’s bedroom that I’ve worked so hard to restore and make nice and be ready in preparation for the baby coming in a few weeks, it was just all gone.
“It was on the day of our second wedding anniversary and we’ve lost lots of stuff related to our wedding. We’ve lost everything to be honest, it’s just devastating.”
Elly’s friend Charley Dodson later set up a GoFundMe page for the couple and it received more than £12,500 in just four days.
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