A Blackpool couple have been astounded by the generosity of friends and strangers having lost part of their livelihood in a house fire.
Bobby Pook suffered third degree burns to his hands trying to battle the flames at his home in Camborne Court, Marton.
The videographer and well-known resort musician lost thousands of pounds worth of computer equipment and instruments in the blaze – which was started by a candle in the bedroom of the house.
With Bobby, who plays guitar for Blackpool band Downers, recovering in hospital, his girlfriend set about raising cash to replace the items damaged and destroyed.
And just two days after setting up an account on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, his partner Doris Lam is already halfway to her target of £10,000 with in excess of £5,000 pledged.
It has been an astonishing response and one which has cheered 31-year-old Bobby, who was rushed to the Royal Preston Hospital for specialist treatment following the blaze on Sunday.
Raising more than £3,000 in just one day – it’s just incredible
He said: “It has been a tough few days and I know I have some way yet to go. But I am genuinely overwhelmed by the flood of support.
“Raising more than £3,000 in just one day – it’s just incredible.
“I’m so grateful for everyone’s support.”
Bobby described the dramatic moment when fire took hold of a coat in the bedroom of his house.
In the panic to stop the fire spreading, he threw the flaming clothing out of the window only for it to land on the roof of the conservatory where precious guitars, amplifiers and computer equipment were stored.
He had hoped the flaming bundle would land in the garden and be put out, but instead the fire spread.
Bobby explained: “Once the fire in the room had stopped,
“I went downstairs and saw that the conservatory roof was melting and fire sparks, plastic and black smoke was going everywhere.
“I realised I was in danger and had to get out since I was in a lot of pain from the burns on my hands and so I went next door to get help and call the fire brigade but by that time the conservatory was up in flames and an explosion shattered all the windows.”
Bobby’s contents insurance had recently run out, leaving him potentially thousands of pounds out of pocket.
But that wasn’t the main concern in the immediate aftermath of the blaze.
Bobby was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery.
And with his hands crucial to his living, the creative industries worker faces a tough few months.
Doris said: “Bobby has third degree burns on both his hands so he won’t be able to make money for a while. He is also not able to come out of the hospital back to his house and has lost all his work equipment.
“Everything Bobby owned for his gigs and video work went up in flames which was devastating for him as he is self-employed and without his equipment, he has to start afresh.
“All his guitars, amps, cameras and his new gimbal and laptop, that he spent so many years saving for were lost in the fire as well.
“We needed a way to raise money quickly and efficiently because unfortunately Bobby’s insurance had just run out.”
And Doris, who works at Ava’s Bar and Lounge in Preston, is hoping to be able to surprise her boyfriend when his treatment is finally over
She said: “Ideally, I’d like to try and replace his lost equipment before he gets out of hospital.
“He is in incredible amounts of pain every day but is on the road to recovery, he has kept his optimistic attitude and is very thankful for all the support and love everyone has given so far and feels so grateful to be alive.
“As for the appeal, to be half way there in just two days, it’s quite something,”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue services said they attended a call to Camborne Court at 7.25pm on Sunday.
They arrived to find the conservatory of the property on fire and extinguished the flames using a hose reel.
First aid was administered to a man at the scene who was taken to hospital.
A spokesman said there had been damage to the conservatory and smoke damage to the rear of the house and patio area as well as heat damage to the kitchen window.
If you want to donate head to www.gofundme.com/pooksfund