Man humbled after fire appeal tops £700

SUS-150601-113232001
SUS-150601-113232001

A man whose home was destroyed by fire has thanked people who raised more than £700 to help him.

Most of Nathan Harrison’s home in Chevening Close, Broadfield, was damaged in the roof fire on December 30.

His friend Darren Wells set up an online appeal the morning after.

Nathan, 37, said: “I was shocked, humbled grateful - you don’t know what to say - you just think ‘thank you so much’.”

Top TV comic Romesh Ranganathan, who lives in Broadfield, gave £200.

Nathan, who did not know the former Hazelwick maths teacher, added: “It just shows there’s a lot of human decency about.”

Nathan, a gas engineer, had rented the house for two years.

He said he lost his photos, books, electrical appliances and bed in the blaze.

Nathan described the night of the fire.

He was woken in the early hours by its “cracking” sound in the roof but thought an animal was making the noise.

He woke again when it was “much much louder” and saw the wall between the properties was cracking.

He went downstairs, saw the roof blaze and called the fire service at around 3.30am.

A family opposite him took him in for a cup of tea.

Nathan thanked his neighbours’ kindness on the night of the fire and the days after.

He said: “The neighbours all round here have been absolutely brilliant.

“I’ve had lots of people come to me to offer cups of tea and a lady offered me a sandwich and drink.”

Nathan, who grew up in Crawley and went to Thomas Bennett Community College, said he had known Darren for 15 years.

He only found out about the appeal (www.gofundme.com/jhec5o) on social media.

Six fire crews attended the fire, which started in the early morning in the house next to Nathan’s.

No one was hurt.

Fire crews used hoses and an aerial ladder to contain the blaze.

The houses were 75 per cent damaged by fire and both roofs completely destroyed.

A spokesman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue said the fire was not being treated as suspicious.

She added: “It’s believed the property’s occupants had moved in the previous day but weren’t actually staying there and in the move the hob dial was knocked and started the fire.”

Nathan was staying with his parents in Crawley while his house was being repaired.