More than £15,000 has been donated in just 24 hours to help the owners of a hotel destroyed in a fire.
Four fire crews were called to Taynuilt Inn, near Oban, early yesterday after a chef who lives on the site raised the alarm.
Guests fled from the popular hotel, with the local community racing to give them clothing and shelter.
And within hours, a fundraising page was set up to help hotel owners Jordan and Lesley Foster – with the total now well over £15,200.
The flames have completely destroyed the 16th century building’s roof, which was partially demolished to allow investigations to get under way.
Christine Fox, who lives in Taynuilt, set up the Go Fund Me page to help the couple, with nearly 300 people chipping in – including one generous anonymous £1,000 donor.
Support for the owners
Mr and Mrs Foster had been working hard to get the business back on its feet following lockdown, offering not only delicious food and cocktails but organising popular quiz nights and other events.
Ms Fox – who praised the whole community for coming together in the wake of the fire – wrote on the fundraising appeal page: “After a fire ravaged Lesley and Jordan’s business and home in the early hours of September 21 they’ve been left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
“They and their team worked tirelessly to reopen the Taynuilt Inn and it’s been fantastic asset and hub of the community.”
Those who have donated to the Go Fund Me have also left messages of support for the couple.
Rachel Meehan wrote: “We visit Taynuilt every year and know how important this place is to the local community. We had a lovely meal here last month and are devastated for the new owners that this has happened.”
Many promised to return when they could, having previously enjoyed a stay at the hotel.
Iain Barrie said: “Absolutely devastated for you both, and your excellent team. My wife and I stayed for three nights only three weeks ago, had a wonderful time, enjoyed every minute.
“So relieved that no-one was injured. We promise that when you re-open we will return for another stay, that’s a given.”
Post Office drop-off
Local postmistress Lorna Maclennan is also encouraging the community to use the Post Office as a drop off point for donations and supplies.
She said: “We’re going to have [the post office] as a drop-off point for anybody that wants to drop any bedding or anything, we juts need to see what they need.
“Folk have handed money in here as well, it’s doing what you can to help.
“It’s a wee community and everyone just gets together and helps, you do what you can do. I’m just glad that everyone is OK – everything can be replaced.”
She said the inn has been an “icon” in the village of Taynuilt.