Sidmouth community's kindness for arson victims

PUBLISHED: 11:03 24 October 2011 | UPDATED: 10:06 28 October 2011

Donations have been pouring in for Sidmouth family who had their van set alight. Keiran Fayter-Small and Nikki Curtis with their baby Izabell and a collection put together by the Jet Garage in Woolbrook. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5681-42-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Donations have been pouring in for Sidmouth family who had their van set alight. Keiran Fayter-Small and Nikki Curtis with their baby Izabell and a collection put together by the Jet Garage in Woolbrook. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5681-42-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Down-and-out trio back on feet after fire

A YOUNG Sidmouth family left down-and-out after a devastating arson attack have been helped back on their feet by “unbelievable” acts of kindness.

Keiran Fayter-Small, 24, partner Nicola Curtis, 19, and their newborn baby daughter, Izabell, have been inundated with offers of support - some from complete strangers - after criminals torched their livelihood.

The touched trio told the town this week: “Thank you so much.”

Self-employed bricklayer, Keiran, watched the van he’d taken out a loan to buy, and his uninsured tools inside, go up in smoke on October 3.

The extent of the arson got worse for the Vicarage Road family-of-three when its dire financial consequences became clearer - leaving them thousands of pounds out of pocket.

But good Samaritans in Sidmouth have rallied round, handing over their own tools and even cash so Keiran can now replace those destroyed.

Kind-hearted workers at the Jet garage in Woolbrook Road raised more than £200 in just a week by staging a collection.

“I was ready to give up,” said Keiran.

“I hadn’t realised the financial devastation and just didn’t see any point any more - but all this support has helped massively to get me back on my feet so I can support my family– it’s unbelievable.

“I hope, one day, I’ll be able to lend somebody in this position a helping hand – and give something back to my home town.

“If it wasn’t for the Sidmouth Herald none of this would have been possible.” Hours after the Herald revealed the family’s plight, they received two phone calls from tradesmen offering tools.

Strangers knocked on their door and even stopped Nicola in the street to offer help. One well-wisher anonymously gifted them a £20 note.

Nicola said: “It’s lovely that the Sidmouth community has reached out to us. Neither of us expected this but we’re so grateful. We hope nobody else is put in the same position as us – the fire was truly awful.”

Jet garage cashier Daniel Wilson, 35, launched a collection for Keiran and customers handed over £203 in change.

“Lots of people have been keen to do something for a local guy who’s had a hard time,” said Daniel.

“I felt bad for him as I knew how hard he’d been working to get everything set up.

“This just shows the community spirit.

“We had the Herald story on the counter next to a collection tin. I think it tugged at a lot of people’s heart strings.”

Keiran said he’ll invest the cash in new tools. He thanked Daniel, local plumber Norman Spencer and family, Rodney and Jan Dodd, Martin Myhill and Ken Woodsford, and all others, for their generosity.

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