Devon

Torquay flat fire family 'overwhelmed' by support

van and car full of bags Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Police said they were "overwhelmed" with the response from the local community.

Hundreds of people have come forward to help a family after their home was severely damaged by fire.

Emergency services were called to the flat in Torquay at 11:30 GMT and found smoke billowing from the windows.

The kitchen was destroyed by fire, while the rest of the property was badly damaged by smoke.

Police launched an appeal on social media to replace clothes and toys that were destroyed - and said they were inundated with donations in four hours.

Torquay Police issued the appeal, which said "a seven-month-old girl and a four-year-old boy...now have no clothes or toys".

Within hours, officers had filled a car and a van with donations from members of the public.

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The children's mother Nicole Perrett said: "I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone, you've been so amazing.

"Thank you to the police and fire, they have done what they could and have gone above and beyond to help us out."

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption The kitchen was destroyed by fire, while the rest of the flat suffered severe smoke damage

An appeal on the Torquay Police Facebook page read: "We have just attended a house fire. Most things are unusable.

"There are two small children, a seven-month-old girl and a four-year-old boy, who now have no clothes or toys.

"They are also in need of a steriliser, Tommee Tippee bottles and car seats.

"I am looking to the power of social media to help out this family for donations."

More than 250 people have posted comments on social media offering cots, car seats and other family essentials.

A supermarket donated new bottles and other baby items, while a member of the public offered use of their van to transport the donations.

A police spokesman said they had been "overwhelmed" by the response and "extremely honoured to work in such an amazing, thoughtful community".

The family will be staying with Ms Perrett's brother until they find alternative accommodation.

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