A north-east woman has set up a crowdfunding page to help her brother and his family rebuild their home after it was ruined in a fire.
Daniel and Katarzyna Kotlarz, aged 39 and 36, and their three daughters, aged 15, nine, and six months, watched their home on Seafield Crescent in Banff go up in flames on Tuesday morning.
The police have since launched an investigation.
Now, Daniel’s sister Karolina Struzik has launched a JustGiving page on behalf of the family with a target of £7,000, but more than £8,000 has been raised so far.
Karolina, 36, said: “A friend sent a photo of the smoke, and my brother said to come over because the house was on fire.”
She travelled over to see what she could do, but arrived to find the semi-detached home badly damaged by the blaze.
She said: “The house is very dark, it’s not good.”
The crowdfunding page describes Daniel as the family’s “sole breadwinner”, and says he is currently on furlough with little income.
It says they are unable to afford to rebuild the family home as they invested all of their life savings into the house, describing it as “a tragic situation which no one ever thinks they would have to deal with – especially at this time given the current crisis”.
The page adds: “They have lost their home in the midst of a global pandemic.”
Pictures on the website show the extent of the damage inside the house – smashed windows, blackened family photos on the wall and insulation scattered across the floor.
Karolina, who lives with her own family in Whitehills, added: “The money from the fundraiser will help them restore the inside of the house, and just hopefully bring it back to normality.”
The extent of the blaze required four fire engines to come to the house from Banff, Macduff, Portsoy and Aberchirder.
The crews attending the scene used six breathing apparatus, a jet, two hose reel jets and two thermal imaging cameras. A PPV van was also in attendance.
Inspector Steven McDonald, of the Banff policing team, said: “The fire has been extinguished and there is damage to property, but thankfully no-one has been injured.
“Inquiries into the cause of the fire are under way and there will be a continued police presence in the area.”
To contribute to Karolina’s fundraiser for Daniel and his family, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/housefirebanff
Police have urged anyone who might have information on the incident to call them on 101, quoting incident number 1125 of the 9 of June, or anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.