Thousands of pounds raised in one day to help Norwich horse sanctuary hit by fire

Fire at Little Tinkers Horse Sanctuary. Owner Ken Bassett.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Fire at Little Tinkers Horse Sanctuary. Owner Ken Bassett.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Thousands of pounds have been raised in one day to help a horse sanctuary hit by a fire.

Fire at Little Tinkers Horse Sanctuary.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Fire at Little Tinkers Horse Sanctuary.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Police are investigating after ponies and donkeys had to be moved from their barns at Little Tinkers Sanctuary, in Bluebell Road, Norwich to escape the blaze on Friday night.

The sanctuary cares for 36 old and sick animals and has been targeted six times in the last seven months.

Since the fire a website appeal has raised more than £6,000 in a single day to help owner Julie Bassett rebuild the sanctuary.

Mrs Bassett, 49, estimated the fire had caused £40,000 worth of damage.

Fire at Little Tinkers Horse Sanctuary.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Fire at Little Tinkers Horse Sanctuary.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The side of a new barn has been reduced to ashes and tractors have been burnt out, leaving the future of the haven for animals unclear.

Mrs Bassett said: 'It is just 16 years of hard work gone and now I have to think of the ponies' safety.

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'I don't know if I can go on, but all of the ponies and donkeys are old or sick, so people won't want them. If I can't do it they might have to be put down.'

The fire service was called at around 9.55pm on Friday by a passer-by who spotted the flames and again a few minutes later by someone who could smell smoke.

Firefighters from Sprowston, Earlham and Carrow attended to put out the blaze.

Mrs Bassett added: 'The ponies are lucky to have gotten away and hidden at the end of the field. It is just horrendous, it is really upsetting. I just don't know where to go from here.'

The sanctuary had just recovered from a break-in on Friday, January 8, when the barns were damaged and equipment worth thousands of pounds was stolen.

•If you think you can help Tinkers Horse Sanctuary, contact Julie Bassett on littletinkers1@aol.com or donate money at https://www.gofundme.com/6cskmnngIf you have a news story about a local organisation, email jemma.walker@archant.co.uk