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More than £5k raised for islander left with nothing after lightning strike fire

More than £5k raised for islander left with nothing after lightning strike fire

Tuesday 28 September 2021

More than £5k raised for islander left with nothing after lightning strike fire


More than £5,000 has been raised for an islander left with just “the clothes on her back” following the fire at Portelet sparked by lightning.

20 people had to be evacuated from The Palms, a St. Brelade-based apartment block, in the early hours of Sunday morning and held in the Parish Hall as a result of the blaze.

A significant part of the roof burnt down, and four first floor properties were severely damaged, while several on the ground floor suffered water damage from efforts to put out the fire.

Islanders have since banded together to support those affected by donating men’s and women’s clothes, shoes and other necessities in an effort coordinated by Parish Hall staff.

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Pictured: Damage inside the property.

Meanwhile, Cosy Catz took in pets in need of a temporary home.

A crowdfunding page has also been set up to raise £15,000 one islander in particular who was out at the time of the fire, but found out through concerned friends calling her about the “freak” incident.

Explaining her friend’s situation, the fundraiser’s creator, Naomi Watson, explained: “She now literally only has the clothes on her back, having lost the entire contents of her flat.

“As well as being understandably in shock, she will now have to live in a hotel for the foreseeable future and begin to build back up to having all the things she has worked so hard to get.”

She continued, “I understand that times are hard but please donate what you can, even if it’s the price of a coffee, it will all help to support my friend through this most unfortunate, unsettling and unpredictable event,” before thanking those who had taken the time to support “one of the loveliest people I know who always puts others before herself in her hour of need.”

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Pictured: 18 firefighters worked to put out the blaze at its height.

Within 12 hours of launching, 70 islanders had donated £2,295 to the fundraiser, and funds and well wishes are continuing to pour in. The total now stands at more than £5,000 - one third of a way to the target.

One anonymous donor wrote: “Keep thinking positive. Unfortunately no one can say it won't happen to us. Today is you tomorrow can be me. So let's help with what we can. All the best for all the family.”

Another said: “This could happen to any of us. Keep strong, sending love, trust and strength.”

At the height of the blaze, 18 firefighters and one duty commander worked for around four hours to put out fires inside and outside the building, with four fire engines and one aerial ladder platform.

Those inside the building had to use breathing apparatus and thermal imaging to make their way through.

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Pictured: £2,295 was raised within 12 hours of the fundraiser going live.

Jersey Met Office said that the “very dramatic” thunderstorm around 03:00 to 04:00 on Sunday, which carried an ‘Orange’ level warning, was particularly “unusual”.

“So often we see thunderstorms lose their energy as they cross the cool Channel waters. But this one actually blossomed around Les Minquiers, with cumulonimbus clouds almost doubling in height in just half an hour,” the Jersey Met team explained.

Scores of islanders, including those involved, have since praised the Fire Service for their efforts in dealing with the result of the lightning strike.

“Thank you Jersey Fire & Rescue, it was a scary experience that you handled fantastically!!” one said on Facebook.

Another wrote: “A huge thank you to all the members of Fire and Rescue team that attended the fire. It was very scary but so glad nobody was hurt. Also a huge thank you to St. Brelade Parish Hall and the lady from Cosy Cats, your kindness I will never forget.”

CLICK HERE to donate to the £15k fundraiser.

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IN PICTURES: Lightning strike sparks Portelet apartment block fire

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