PEOPLE from across Southampton have backed a campaign to raise money for a devastated family who lost their home in the Californian wildfires.

Keith Durnford, who lived in Millbrook, yesterday told the Daily Echo he faced bankruptcy after his home in Santa Rosa was completely destroyed in Monday’s fires.

Since going live on Tuesday, a justgiving page dedicated to generating funds for the heartbroken Durnfords has raised nearly $4,000 - with dozens of backers from across the city supporting the cause.

And for Mr Durnford, 57, the response has left the avid Saints fan “overwhelmed” and “close to tears”.

“The generosity of others is just incredible,” Mr Durnford, a former Weston Park Boys School pupil, said.

“Yesterday for example, a stranger who heard our story just got together three bundles of clothes for the family and some board games and toys for my son Dylan.

“You hear about that kindness but you never expect it to happen when it is you in that situation.”

He added: “And to see people helping support us back in England - some friends, some family and some strangers - just makes you want to well up and cry.

“I’m close to tears thinking about it.

“I am a Saints fan and seeing the other fans get involved reminds me that being a Southampton Football Club supporter means you are part of a family.”

Mr Durnford, his wife Nicole, 40 and four year old son were woken by vast amounts of smoke and wind filling their home in Santiago Drive at around 1.30am on Monday.

The family knew they had to flee so jumped straight in the car to try and outrun the fire - which was at that point taking down houses just yards away.

The fire completely obliterated the town and so far at least 21 people have died as a result of the incident.

Yesterday, Mr Durnford said he faced bankruptcy after his $415,000 property was destroyed.

And although he admits the family “look like something out of The Walking Dead” following their ordeal, hope remains through the warmth of others helping them get back on their feet.

“We can’t thank them enough,” Mr Durnford said.

“To say we’re overwhelmed is an understatement. .

“But the reaction to everything has been incredible.”