Friends rally for family left homeless by lightning


Friends of a Hailsham family left homeless after their house was destroyed by a lightning strike earlier this month have raised hundreds of pounds to support them.

Flames ripped through Amber Sinden’s house in Hawkins Way on Thursday, August 13 after a bolt of lightning struck the property during a storm.

The roof and top floor of the house was gutted by the fire and, combined with the torrential downpours that followed, all but a handful of Amber’s possessions were lost.

Amber and her parents, who also lived in the house, have been forced to move into temporary accommodation but have been warned it may be months before they can move back home as the building has been left unsafe.

Now, a fundraising campaign called Amber Aid has been set up by Amber’s colleagues at Post Totty gift and jewellery store in Brighton, and more than £550 has already been donated.

The page says: “Our lovely customer services adviser Amber lost everything when a lightening strike burnt her family’s house down. Obviously the house and its contents are covered by insurance, but it will take a while for the payment to come through and won’t cover everything she lost - she’s literally just got the clothes on her back.

“Amber is a well-loved part of the team at the Posh Totty Designs workshop in Brighton. The news was broken to her while at work yesterday morning and it made us realise this type of occurrence could happen to any one of us in freak weather conditions. As a result of the storm/lightening strike, the family home may have to be knocked down as it is deemed unsafe to enter.

“All money raised will be donated to Amber to help her buy new belongings, which have all been destroyed by the fire.”

Firefighters were called to Hawkins Way at 11am on August 13 to reports of a fire.

A spokesman for the fire service said at the time: “Three fire engines from Eastbourne and Pevensey and one officer were mobilised to the address, where firefighters used four breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets and two main jets to extinguish the flames.

“All persons were accounted for and the cause of the fire was found to be due to a lightning strike. A level two investigation is currently underway.”

Messages of support have been posted on the fundraising page. One said: “You and your family are safe which is the most important thing. Sending you big hugs.” Another read: “So glad you’re all safe. Still cant believe this has happened. Wishing you all the luck to get back on track.”


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