Weeting villagers show support for fire hit families

A village on the Norfolk-Suffolk border showed its community spirit by hosting a fun-day to raise money for three families who had to leave their homes because of fire.

The families were made temporarily homeless after a row of thatched cottages at Weeting, near Brandon, went up in flames about four weeks ago.

Since then, neighbours have rallied round, providing accommodation, food and clothing for the displaced residents. And they went a step further by organising an event to raise money to get them back on their feet.

Yesterday, villagers enjoyed a car boot sale, a mini funfair and refreshment stands at the recreation ground and village hall; all the proceeds are being split between the affected families. Event co-organiser Norman Killeen said: 'This is just a thing we've tried to get off the ground to raise funds for the young families who are now burnt out of their homes, It's a bit of community spirit: everyone has pulled together.

'The families basically lost everything, and this is to try and pick them up again.'

More than 50 firefighters were called to deal with the blaze after it broke out in The Row on the evening of April 24. The homes are now surrounded by scaffolding,with some covered with plastic sheeting.

Mr Killeen added: 'It's a focal point and a very picturesque part; it's an English Heritage site and a listed building.

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'It's part of our heritage, and people were very sad to see it go up in a fire the way it did.'