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Nearly £20,000 raised for Fair Isle fire victims

Nearly £20,000 has been raised for the family who runs the Fair Isle Bird Observatory after their home and possessions were destroyed in the fire that left the renowned research facility in ruins.

An online crowdfunding campaign launched on Monday by members of the Fair Isle community for the Parnaby family has seen people from all over the globe pledge money to help them get back on their feet after Sunday’s fire.

Last night the total had reached £19,187.

Warden David, administrator Susannah and their daughters Grace and Freyja lost their home next to the observatory, and thankfully no one was hurt.

By yesterday morning, around £14,000 was raised for the family – comfortably surpassing the initial target of £2,000.

Fire crews transported by helicopter and lifeboat as fire wreaks havoc through Fair Isle bird observatory

In a statement by the 55-strong community members on their crowdfunder, they wrote: “On March 10 2019 our friends, the Parnaby family, lost their home and life’s possessions in the catastrophic fire that destroyed Fair Isle Bird Observatory.

“We have set up this fund to raise the money required to help them replace the essentials of family life. Everything from clothing, bedding and kitchen utensils to furniture, TV and toys.

“As a community we will be doing our very best to support Susannah, David, Grace and Freya in the months ahead. We would very much appreciate your support as well.”

Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust honorary president Roy Dennis said on Monday that the Parnaby family was able to be rehomed on the remote island.

A fire crew was transported by Coastguard helicopter from Lerwick to help the local Fair Isle crew to deal with Sunday’s blaze.

Reports of the incident were first received at 11.54am, with two main jets, two hose reel jets and two firefighters draped in breathing apparatus being utilised by the fire service.

Lerwick lifeboat was launched to assist transport the additional crews and equipment, with members paged shortly before 5pm.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “We received reports shortly after 12pm from the local ferry who informed us they were turning back towards Fair Isle, after seeing flames and smoke emerge.

“We utilised our search and rescue helicopter, Rescue 900 from Sumburgh, to help assist in transporting one fire crew from Lerwick to Fair Isle.

“Lerwick lifeboat was launched to assist transport crews and equipment to the Fair Isle.”

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