A mum and son were left only with the clothes on their backs when a devastating fire ripped through their Dundee home.
The blaze started in their tumble-dryer in the family’s house in Fintry and while Wendy Forbes and her son Cole were lucky not to be home, their dog Buddy had to be rescued.
Now, thanks to the generosity of fellow Dundonians, more than £3,000 has been raised to help them get back on their feet.
Wendy, 35, was alerted to the fire by neighbours on Friday morning.
She said: “There literally is hardly anything left.
“I have even lost precious photographs and jewellery, it has been absolutely awful.
“There isn’t much salvaged but we are all alive which is the main thing.”
Friends, family and even strangers have donated to an online fundraiser, arranged by sister Louise Craig, to help Wendy and Cole, 13.
“It has been overwhelming,” Wendy said.
“So many people have helped us it has been humbling.
“The way the people of Dundee pull together to help someone in difficulty never fails to amaze me.
“I can’t thank everyone enough – the support we have had has been incredible.
“Even Cole’s school, Braeview Academy, have found him a brand new uniform to wear because he doesn’t even have one left.”
Lucky to be alive
Despite Wendy saying the fire was the worst day of her life, she thinks it could have been much worse.
She feels lucky that she and Cole were safe and their beloved black labrador, Buddy, in on his way to recovery after receiving fluids and oxygen.
Wendy said: “Cole, me and Buddy are all well.
“I can’t even begin to think what might have happened if we were both at home.”
Wendy explained that on the day the fire started she had gone to work at around 9am.
Once she got there she discovered that her neighbour had been desperately trying to contact her.
“When she told me my house was on fire I panicked beyond belief. I headed home as quickly as I could the panic growing so that by the time I got there I was screaming,” Wendy said.
“As I headed up the road I could see the smoke belching from my house and I was so scared about what I would find.”
Wendy said that after her house was declared safe enough to go inside the fire brigade told her to grab what she could before they sealed it off.
She said: “I was only able to save a few bits and pieces, everything else is ruined.”
To make matters worse, Wendy had been due to move to the Hilltown soon and had cancelled her contents insurance for her Fintry home.
“I have been paying it for 14 years and never needed it,” she said.
“I decided to put the money from that towards saving for my own first home, never dreaming that something dreadful like this would happen.”
Wendy wants to warn others of the dangers of leaving electrical appliances switched on when nobody is home.
“What has happened to me is the worse experience of my life and I would hate it to happen to anyone,” she said.
“I would urge people not to do what I did and make sure everything is switched off.
“It happened way too easily and I have been left with barely anything as a result.”
Donations to help Wendy and Cole can be made at gofundme.com/f/wendys-fire-recovery-fund