Mansfield man's house rebuilt after partner dies in fire

  • Published
Linby Avenue
Image caption,
Barrie Green's home was destroyed in a fire that also took his partner

A builder who helped restore a man's house following a fire in which his partner died has been hailed as "a saint in disguise".

Barrie Green lost Vera Brewer, 73, in a fire on 23 December that wrecked their home on Linby Avenue in Mansfield.

After hearing Mr Green, 75, was not insured, builder Austyn Mcilvenna set up a crowdfunding page that quickly raised £3,000 for the refurb.

With the help of local volunteers he was able to fix the damage.

Mr Green, who said he lost everything in the fire, can now move back into his home.

Image caption,
The 75-year-old said he could not cope after losing his partner Vera Brewer

He said: "Austyn's my hero - I couldn't live without him. He calls himself a builder, but he's actually a saint in disguise.

"I looked death in the face and was begging for it to come and take me, because I just couldn't cope."

Image caption,
Builder Austyn Mcilvenna helped find the army of volunteers who rebuilt Mr Green's home

The fire had "completely gutted" Mr Green's kitchen, said Mr Mcilvenna.

In the back room, where the fire started, the ceiling was "hanging off" and "the doors were blown out", he added.

He estimated the repairs could have cost Mr Green up to £50,000.

Image caption,
Mr Green has been able to move back home and "carry on living"

Mr Green's son Darren said: "He's overwhelmed really, when he first got here.

"He's just relaxed now, and now he can carry on living."

Nottinghamshire Police said an investigation into the cause of the fire found it to be "accidental".

Image caption,
Mr Green's kitchen was "completely gutted"
Image source, Austyn Mcilvenna
Image caption,
An online fundraiser collected £3,000 towards the rebuild of Mr Green's house

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to

Related Topics