We lost our home but kindness moved us to tears – north-east family thanks community after devastating blaze

A north-east family thanked their “amazing” community for rallying round to help after they lost everything when fire ripped through their home.

The Mitchell family were devastated after their home on Inn Brae in Longside was damaged in a blaze earlier this month.

At its height, around 50 firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control.

The family, back row, Vicky and Danny Mitchell with Aiden, three months, and Jacob, 2, and front, from left, Esme, 3, Caitlin, 10, Logan, 4, and Keira, 9

Crews were forced to leave the building at one point amid fears the roof could collapse.

Danny, 36, and Vicky, 38, said they were overwhelmed by the generosity of neighbours and the community who helped them in the aftermath.

Big-hearted strangers got in touch to ensure the couple and their six children – Caitlin, 10, Keira, 9, Logan, 4, Esmee, 3, Jacob, 2 and three-month-old Aiden – had everything they needed, like clothes and toiletries.

Danny, a hydraulic engineer, said his family’s ordeal began when they were out and received a frantic call from neighbours saying their house was on fire.

He said: “It isn’t something you think you will ever hear.

“We grabbed the kids and jumped back in our car. The neighbour phoned again and then the head teacher from Longside, as our home is right beside the school.

“When we pulled up there were seven or eight fire engines, five police cars and two ambulances at our house. I jumped out the car and tried running down our drive. It was just awful seeing the house like that, it was terrifying.”

In the aftermath of the June 6 fire, a neighbour took the Mitchells in and they were able to stay with other family members.

Within hours of the devastating fire, members of the community began visiting the family to ensure they had everything they needed.

Danny said: “It was amazing what people did. My faith in humanity has been boosted.

“It hasn’t just been people’s generosity but people’s kindness.

“The firefighters and police were fantastic.

“Complete strangers were showing up to our neighbours to help how they could.

“We had people dropping off nappies, clothes for the children and even stuff like shower gel.

“We also had things you wouldn’t realise you had lost until you go looking for them, like a toothbrush.

Vicky and Danny Mitchell

“It was overwhelming, my wife was in tears.

“The following day we had more people show up to help us and drop things off.

“We didn’t know what to say apart from ‘thank you’.

“People were already phoning us offering their services for the house rebuild.

“The church got in touch, the Brownies, Girls’ Brigade, everyone was getting in touch to offer some sort of assistance.

“It was horrible what we were going through but for people to help us the way they did was amazing.”

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It was even thanks to a neighbour that they have a roof over their head.

The neighbour was selling a property in Longside and decided to rent it to the Mitchells instead so they could be near their children’s school.

Vicky said they are still waiting to hear when they might be able to visit their old home but they wanted to thank everyone who has helped them.

She said: “People went above and beyond with their kindness to us.

“All our neighbours on Inn Brae and Glebfield rallied round.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster.

“Longside Church and Ellon Parish Church really helped us with donations as well.

“We can’t thank everyone individually but we want everyone to know how much we appreciate what they have done for us over the last couple of weeks.”