South West Wales

Community rallies around Lammas eco house fire family

The destroyed eco house Image copyright JustGiving
Image caption The eco house made partially of straw bales has been destroyed at the site

A community is rallying around to try and help a family whose house burned down at an eco village in Pembrokeshire.

Simon and Jasmine Dale's house, which had featured on Grand Designs, was destroyed in the fire at Lammas eco village in Glandwr, near Crymych.

Firefighters tackled the blaze for more than six hours on Monday.

Members of the community are now trying to raise £20,000 to help the family rebuild their home.

The couple and their two children have been residents at the eco village, set up to promote sustainable living, since the start of the project, according to a JustGiving page.

It said they have been working on their family home for the last six years and appeared on Grand Designs last year.

"Luckily no-one was hurt but as you can imagine, the family are devastated," it added.

Image caption Twenty-two firefighters tackled the blaze at Lammas eco village

Dai Swan, group manager for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said on Monday that crews were confronted by a fierce fire on arrival, which had engulfed a house.

"It's utterly heartbreaking for the crews seeing how much workmanship has gone into these [house] frames," he added.

"Each piece of this building is bespoke, it's done to a beautifully high standard and to see it damaged by fire is just heartbreaking."

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Residents won planning permission in 2009 to build a community of nine smallholdings designed to be low impact and self-sufficient.

At the time, Mr Dale said the way they had been living "is not serving us as people and the planet that we live on" and he wanted to build a home with materials "really natural, really non-toxic".

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