Cawston rallies round house fire victims as appeal passes £1,000

A blazing car caused severe damage to two homes in Cawston. Photo: Southam Fire Station NNL-170805-145936001
A blazing car caused severe damage to two homes in Cawston. Photo: Southam Fire Station NNL-170805-145936001

More than £1,000 has been donated to a fundraising appeal set up to support the Cawston families whose homes went up in flames a week ago.

No-one was hurt but the houses on Oatland Drive were left destroyed after a car caught fire in a car port on Friday.

Cat was found in a wardrobe three days after a fire in the house in Cawston. Photo: Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service NNL-170905-163449001

Cat was found in a wardrobe three days after a fire in the house in Cawston. Photo: Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service NNL-170905-163449001

One of the families’ miracle cat was found alive hiding in a bedroom wardrobe on Monday after going missing after the fire – another is still missing.

The online fundraising page set up by a neighbour immediately after the tragedy, has surpassed the £1,000 mark.

Site manager at developer William Davis, Richard Robinson, who is building homes nearby, saw the fire unfold as it started at around 3.15pm.

“I saw what it was like, it was unbelievable, you couldn’t see down the road.

I saw what it was like, it was unbelievable, you couldn’t see down the road.

Eye-witness Richard Robinson

“Once they started dousing, it just smokes like hellfire,” he said.

A selfless neighbour alerted the residents of one of the burning homes, knocking on the door telling them to get out, it is understood.

People evacuated from their homes and concerned by-standers watched as the car popped and burned, the flames travelling up the houses and the roofs caving in.

Smoke engulfed the entire neighbourhood as three fire engines tackled the blaze using everything in their armoury, including water supplied by the main hydrant.

The burnt remains of two homes in Cawston after a fire. Photo: Mike Brown NNL-170905-021934009

The burnt remains of two homes in Cawston after a fire. Photo: Mike Brown NNL-170905-021934009

Sixth form student Georgia Porter, 18, who lives opposite the affected homes, said the residents were more bothered about their cats.

“I drove past the car on fire but I didn’t see it, then I saw it was on fire in the garden,” she said.

“Then we went out and the woman who lives there had just came out of the house so we were speaking to her and it started blowing up.

“We were stood there for two hours at the end of the street because they wouldn’t let us come back to the house.”

A woman who lives on Oatland Drive but wished to remain anonymous said: “I was in shock, because that was in the afternoon – it was incredible.”

Neighbour Manda Goodwin set up the fundraising page, which quickly received donations with a target of £2,000.

Mr Robinson said despite losing their possessions, it could have been a lot worse.

“At the end of the day you’ve still got memories, [the house is] just material, even the cat survived it,” he said.

“So everybody’s out, nobody was hurt. The house can be rebuilt, I know it’s a harsh way of looking at it but that’s the most important thing.”

To donate, visit gofundme.com/oatland-drive-fire-5517.

Cawston homes devastated after car fire in garage