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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Keswick rallies round for fire family

A family who lost everything when their home burnt down in a suspected arson attack have thanked people who rallied round to help them at Christmas.

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TOUCHED BY SUPPORT: The Forsythe family, whose Keswick home was destroyed by fire, tuck into their Christmas dinner after people rallied round to help them. From left: Malcolm Pattinson, Gayle Forsythe, Genna Forsythe, Ryan Forsythe, Grant Forsythe, Mark Forsythe and Shirley Pattinson

Mark and Gayle Forsythe’s home on Windebrowe Avenue, in Keswick, was gutted by the fire just before midnight last Friday. A car parked in the garage was also destroyed.

Mr Forsythe, 44, a joiner with Hodgson’s Builders, and Gayle, 44, shared the house with sons Grant, 20, Ryan, 17, and daughter Genna, 19.

The couple had lived there for about 18 years.

Townsfolk rallied round and more than £5,000 was raised from a collection in pubs, shops and the rugby club.

Hodgson’s Builders has lent the family a car and Booths supermarket sent toiletries.

Workington’s Asda store has provided the family with a swipe card for shopping.

They have been visited by Andrew Lysser and Ann Pepper, Keswick’s mayor and mayoress, and supported by the Red Cross.

The family have moved in with a relative until they find new accommodation and spent Christmas with Mrs Forsythe’s father Malcolm Pattinson and his wife Shirley, 64, in Stoneycroft.

Mr Pattinson, 69, said: “They are still really traumatised. They have lost absolutely everything, from a washing machine to sentimental items which they can never replace.

“The house was so badly damaged that the roof collapsed and the floors have gone.

“We would like to thank the Red Cross for their support, friends, business people and townsfolk of Keswick for their generous gifts and donations.”

A 46-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and released on bail until February 21, while investigations continue.

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