Two women have been left stranded on the Black Isle after their campervan caught fire on Friday.
Ellie O’Brien and her friend travelled up from England, visiting the small Highland village of Cromarty when tragedy struck.
Having parked up next to the beach, close to the Royal Hotel, they had just exited the vehicle when Ms O’Brien’s friend screamed as the flames started spouting from the front cab.
Ms O’Brien explained what happened on a GoFundMe page, set up after the incident.
It read: “Running back, we got the dogs out and I jumped in the back to get the fire extinguisher.
Black Isle campervan fire ‘a freak accident’
“When that was empty I jumped back in the back again to get the fire blanket out. Neither worked.
“The van was full of thick black smoke and we were very aware that it had 3/4 diesel in and a gas canister. So we moved to safety.”
After burning for an hour, the fire crews extinguished the flames while medics checked the two women for smoke inhalation.
Ms O’Brien says crews believe it was a “freak accident” due to the engine being off at the time.
She says they are grateful the incident didn’t happen while they were sleeping.
However, without transport the two women and two dogs have been stranded on the Black Isle.
This is why the duo launched a GoFundMe to appeal for donations to help their situation made more complicated by their insurance company.
Ms O’Brien explained: “Helpfully the insurance last night told us to stay with the vehicle and they would cover hotel costs and get us home today.
“Today we have been told that the out-of-hours insurance is a different agency and our actual insurance will not. They advised that they would have returned us home last night instead but not the day after.
‘Not the worst-case scenario’
“Despite this, as a gesture of goodwill, they have agreed to get us home, but this won’t be till at least Monday.”
The duo are still 500 miles from home and the insurance will not cover any accommodation during their prolonged stay in the Highlands.
Ms O’Brien says she also lost most of her possessions, including her phone, laptop, house keys and car keys, and insurance will only cover the vehicle and not what was inside.
She added: “Everything can be replaced and I’m so grateful this is not the worst-case scenario.
“However, for anyone who does want to help and is in a position to in these trying times, this is the place to do it.”
They want to raise £400 to cover hotel and travel costs while up in Scotland.