A Scots foster carer has told of the horror of his home being destroyed by a fire three days before Christmas.
John Murray’s home he shares with wife, Doreen, foster sons Duncan, 20, David, 18 and grand daughter, Hannah, 13 was totally gutted after the blaze on Sunday afternoon.
A Segway exploding in the lounge of their house in Earlston, Berwickshire, sparked the massive inferno that’s left the family with nothing.
John told the Daily Record of the panic he felt driving up to his home as it was consumed by the fire.
He said: “I was driving home from Newcastleton with my brother when David called me.
“He was the only one in the house when it happened.
“He’d been charing the Segway, it started making funny noises so he unplugged it from the wall.
“It was still making noises then started sparking.
“As I drove up to the house I saw a massive plume of smoke in the sky.
“It was terrifying.”
After the Segway exploded flamed ripped through the lounge, the kitchen, extension and utility room.
The blaze went through the ceiling to the upstairs, destroying four bedrooms, a bathroom then the roof.
While nobody was injured, John said they’ve been left with nothing.
He added: “Every single one of our Christmas presents was in the house, so all of them are gone.”
Desperate to help, members of the small local community rallied round to support the Murrays.
In less than 24 hours over £7,000 has been raised on a Crowdfunding page.
A statement on the page from its creator, Natasha Shewan read: “Today (Sunday, December 222019) a devastating fire ripped through a house in our village, Earlston, Scottish Borders.
“The family are well known and very well thought of in the community.
“There is nothing left of the inside of the house, just a shell.
“The family only posses what they have on their back.
“Please, as a community, can we help the Murray Family and show some Christmas spirit.
The Murray’s have also been inundated with donations of bedding, food, clothing and toiletries.
“We are totally shell shocked by the generosity,” John added.
“This is a very small community with only around 3,000 people.
“In places like this we’re used to helping one another.
“But we still can’t believe how kind people have been.
“All I can say is a massive thank you to anyone who’s donated.”
With temporary accommodation organised and plans to celebrate Christmas with relations, rather than their own home, John says the festive period hasn’t been totally ruined.
“Christmas won’t be quite the same.
“David is on his way to church nativity tonight, so we’ll still celebrate.
“The community has been amazing in helping us.”
A spokesperson for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “We got the call to attend at 2.11pm on Sunday, December 22. It was in High Street in Earlston.
“We had four pumps in attendance, and they were there until 10.31pm.
They had four breathing apparatus and two hose-reel jets, and they extinguished the fire using those.
“We don’t believe anyone was injured.”
Segway have been contacted for comment.