More than £2,500 has been raised after a Romsey family lost their thatched cottage from a devastating fire just before Christmas. 

Janet Ewald and her son Mark Ewald could only watch as their home, in Luzborough Lane, was razed on Friday, December 15.

The devastating timing meant the pair were left homeless over the Christmas period - and was even more tragic as Janet had lived there for 50 years.

Despite the extensive damage to the cottage, which totally destroyed the roof and gutted the inside of the heritage building, there was a silver lining.

Janet, Mark and their two dogs escaped unharmed from the inferno.

In the aftermath of the blaze, a fundraiser was set-up by Janet's sister in law Veronica Ewald, which raised £2,710 from 50 donations.

By Thursday, January 11, the fundraiser had closed, meaning extra donations can't be made. 

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Daily Echo: The cottage was destroyed

Speaking to the Echo's sister paper before Christmas, Veronica said: “The cottage is, as everyone can now see, burned to the ground. They have both lost everything. 

“I can’t even begin to comprehend standing and watching everything you own suddenly disappear in flames to a pile of ashes. 

“Not just the everyday practical things living items, but a whole lifetime of memories, photos and personal treasures that we all collect that can never be replaced. 

“I set up a fundraiser to try and help with practical items needed once they manage to get re-homed. 

“Romsey Round Table helped them with immediate shopping voucher donations. Family have helped them with a temporary place to stay. It is heartbreaking.”

Veronica has not responded to requests to comment on the total sum raised.

Fire crews investigated the circumstances surround the fire and have made some conclusions.

A spokesman for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service confirmed that the cause was accidental, caused by heat from the chimney heating the timber roof joists and thatch over a prolonged period.