Appeal To Help Gas Explosion Family Rebuild Home

A Seven Sisters family whose home was destroyed in a huge blast have discovered they had no house insurance - and neighbours are battling to raise more than £50,000.

Mum Jess Williams, 31, was left critically ill after the enormous explosion ripped through her home and injured her children.

Reuben, five, and Elliot, two, are recovering with family - but the family home is a pile of rubble.

Now the kindhearted community are rallying together to raise cash as the family revealed they had no home insurance to cover the damage.

The average cost of insurance in the UK is around £140 per year - just over £11 every month.

Police say the "most likely" cause of the terrifying explosion was ageing LPG gas canisters - usually used for barbecues and caravans.

The home was completely destroyed in the blast as neighbours rushed to help in Seven Sisters, near Neath, South Wales.

Councillor Stephen Hunt, of Neath Port Talbot Council, has now set up The Church Road Explosion Trust Fund to help rebuild the damaged houses.

He said: "I realised at quite early doors that the house that exploded wasn't insured. I then realised two of the three houses affected by the blast were also uninsured.

"So far we have nearly £22,000 raised from the Go Fund Me and we estimate that we have at least another £20,000.

"We could have about £50,000 altogether out there that could become part of the trust fund.

"It could be a substantial amount of money and the priority for me is to put that money towards rebuilding the houses."

Mr Hunt said that builders have also offered to carry out construction work for free.

He said: "The family feel so hurt by what has happened but also humbled by all the support they have received.

"They cannot come to terms with the kindness or the support that has been shown right across the country. They had support from as far as Leeds. They are incredibly grateful.

"It's all very up in the air at the moment. Obviously the aim is to focus on rebuilding the houses but we have had a lot of offers from builders in the area to carry out work completely free of charge.

"Trustees will help to decide who will carry out the work. If building work is free of charge we can perhaps then use the money for supplies. We'll just see how it goes.

"There will also be discussions with other residents on the street who, because of no fault of their own, had parts of their homes or vehicles damaged."

Mum Jess remains in hospital following the horrific incident in June. Her partner Mike David, 33, was not at home at the time - and is now looking after their two sons with family help.

She was found lying behind her fridge freezer by heroic neighbours.

Other families affected by the explosion have been offered temporary accommodation from the council and housing association.

Mr Hunt said: "It's hard to say exactly how long things will take at this stage.

"It's also important to say that the standard of the work carried out will be equal to that carried out by the council or any paid work.

"There will be no drop in standard because the work is free of charge. That is why there will be discussions with the trustees and families involved.

"I urge anyone who still wishes to help or support those affected by the explosion to contact one of the trustee members."


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