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Father's tears as £10,000 is raised to support family after Co Down arson attack leaves them homeless

A Co Down family left homeless and with nothing after a fire destroyed their home just days before Christmas have thanked those who helped raise more than £10,000 to support them.

Arsonists targeted a recycling centre in Rathfriland in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The resulting blaze spread to the Peden family's Kiltariff Drive home and destroyed the property.

Dad Andy, his wife Rebecca and their daughter Daisy were left with nothing but the clothes they fled the house in and their lives.

Just hours after the blaze a Just Giving page was set up to help raise £1,000 for the family to help them through Christmas.

By Wednesday afternoon, just over 24 hours since the fire consumed the family's home and with the remains still smoldering, over £10,000 has been raised.

"Thank you so much," dad Andy said in a Facebook post.

"Love you all and wish you a great Christmas."

The machine operator said the support had reduced him to tears.

He added: "Feeling so positive about society nowadays. We all join together to help people in need. This will never be forgotten."

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