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Family ‘devastated’ after fire destroys their home

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A FAMILY left devastated by a blaze which gutted their Maufant home, claiming the life of the family dog, have spoken publicly for the first time about rebuilding their lives.

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A fire took hold of the Keywoods’ home on Saturday morning, ripping through the property. The family pet, Ollie, a five-year-old French bulldog, was in the building at the time and did not survive.

Krin Keywood (55) has lived in the St Martin property since May 1986 and resided there with her 17-year-old daughter Charlotte. She was at a cake sale when the blaze took hold, raising money for a dance group.

Picture: JERSEY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE (24651025)

Speaking publicly for the first time since the fire, she described the scene unfolding in front of her. ‘We had a call to get back to the house and everyone was on the green, with firefighters and police everywhere,’ she said. ‘It was devastating to see, but we were kept away from it and given space in the youth centre.

‘I have lived here since 1986, and I love my home. I am a home bird and it is like my sanctuary. I am just grateful my daughter wasn’t in the house and she didn’t have to deal with this on her own.

‘We now have to rebuild our lives and I am getting on with things and trying not to stop.’

Miss Keywood, an admin worker at St Mark’s Church, described the family dog as ‘her little friend’.

‘He had recently had an operation so I left to door open so he could get in and out,’ she said.

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‘I keep thinking I should have taken him with me, but you don’t know these things are going to happen.’

Picture: JERSEY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE (24651023)

An investigation is under way and a spokesman for the Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed the blaze started in the kitchen, but the incident is not believed to be suspicious.

The neighbour who informed the Keywoods of the blaze said she saw smoke and fire coming out of the property at around 10am on Saturday morning.

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With the family left with very little from the remains, Betty Cadoret of the Jersey Amateur Dramatic Society came up with an idea to launch a Just Giving page to aid the Keywoods on their road to rebuilding their lives.

More than £3,500 has been raised in less than 24 hours, and Mrs Cadoret said she just wanted to do a little to help the family in their hour of need.

She said: ‘Charlotte attended amateur dramatics and we spoke about doing something because we wanted to help. Everyone does in these situations.

‘We set it up about 7.30pm on Sunday and it is over £3,500 already. It just shows what community spirit and support there is.

‘It doesn’t bear thinking about what the family are going through and how they are going to rebuild, so hopefully this money will go to help them.’

Miss Keywood said the family are now in limbo and staying with friends while the insurance is sorted out.

She added: ‘It is so humbling to see the support we have received.’

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