Blaze-hit Sneinton couple Ron and Betty Bradder thank good folk who put them back on their feet
AN elderly couple who lost everything in a fire have thanked people who helped them rebuild their lives.
Ron and Betty Bradder were devastated after sparks from a chimney created a fireball that tore through their Sneinton home in February.
Flames and water wrecked everything they had in the house, where they had lived for 40 years.
They then faced another massive blow when they discovered that the insurance on the Colwick Road home had run out after their final mortgage payment, and they had not realised they needed a new policy.
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But friends, family and charities gave them somewhere to stay and then helped them fill a council flat with replacement furniture and belongings.
After being presented with a Christmas hamper from the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association Forces Help (SSAFA) the pair thanked the dozens of people who helped them recover over the year. Mrs Bradder, 72, said: "We're still upset about it and I'm still not sleeping properly at night. It was devastating.
"But what everyone has done for us has helped us through it. I never thought people would care but they really have cared for us.
"We feel like we can try to make the best of Christmas now. From what's happened to us, I hope other people realise you just never know what's round the corner."
The fire was started by a spark from a chimney in the ceiling space.
Flames tore through the house and the couple fled into the street. It took firefighters six hours to control the blaze.
Mrs Bradder had undergone her final chemotherapy session for cancer only three months earlier..
She added: "Everything seemed to happen to us at once. I feel like we can't have any more bad luck."
Among groups that helped were the Family First Trust, which provided furniture, and local charity shops, which provided smaller goods and clothing. The couple's family paid to help furnish their new council flat in Bullace Road, St Ann's.
Mr Bradder, 82, said: "We were amazed at the kindness of local people giving us items to make our new home so comfortable in such a short time."
The couple were presented with a hamper full of Christmas food yesterday by SSAFA. It stepped in because Mr Bradder served with the Royal Engineers and the Territorial Army before retiring from a job as a train guard.
The hamper was part of Operation Rudolph, run by Nottingham Christian Centre to co-ordinate local groups trying to supply hundreds of festive hampers to the needy.
Dave Cherrett, SSAFA's divisional secretary, said: "This couple have been so modest in their requests and so appreciative of what people have done for them. It has been a pleasure to work with them over the months of their ordeal."
Have you been helped by your community? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 905 1967.