DAD Wayne Bennett has relived the moment he saw his home and all possessions destroyed by a blaze that police believe was started deliberately.
He said: “Just minutes after I woke at about 7am the whole of the roof came crashing through the ceiling and landed on our bed.
“Luckily I had heard something outside and put my head out of the window and I was told there was a fire in a different part of the building. I was asked to get a fire extinguisher but I only had a small camping one and when I got outside I realised it wasn’t going to do any good.”
A fund has now been set up to help Mr Bennett and his partner Adele Hollis who lost priceless items including 20 years of poetry written by Adele when fire ripped through a house in Little Somerford, near Malmesbury.
The couple, who have five children, are now staying with relatives in Devizes. They were left only with the clothes they were wearing.
Their two cats escaped the blaze but the traumatised animals ran off and are yet to be found despite extensive searches.
Wayne and Adele had been renting part of Russell House for about nine months. Wayne said: “All I had left were the pyjama bottoms and a vest that I was wearing. Adele had gone to work at 5am and all she has are her work uniform.”
Wayne, 42, was laid off work by Devizes cake firm Bakkavor just after lockdown just weeks after he was taken on. Adele works for Cross Manufacturing in Devizes.
Family have rallied around and daughter Hannah Davidge, who lives in Calne, has started a Go Fund Me page.
She said: “It has been so upsetting for everyone. As a family we do not have the money to be able to pay for replacement accommodation, furniture and clothes.
“We are very grateful to everyone who has responded.”
On the fundraising page she wrote: “My parents’ home was burnt to the ground. All of there belonging are gone. Whilst some things lost are irreplaceable I would be most grateful for any donations to help my parents rebuild their lives and start over again.”
Wayne thanked villagers in Little Somerford for their support.
Police arrested a woman in her 60s on suspicion of arson on Wednesday. She has been released under investigation. Go to www.gofundme.com/f/pux8m-house-fire-rescue?