Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Man who fled Rathfriland fire with family is having nightmares, says mum

By Lesley Houston

Published 01/01/2016

Andrew Paden and his wife Rebecca
Andrew Paden and his wife Rebecca

A man whose family lost everything after a fire destroyed their home just days before Christmas has been suffering nightmares since the ordeal.

Andy Peden (27), wife Rebecca (25) and two-year-old daughter Daisy fled barefoot from their burning Rathfriland home on December 22 with only the pyjamas they had been wearing.

Everything else - including Christmas presents and priceless family mementos - was lost in the fire on Kiltariff Drive.

The inferno, which also engulfed their car parked in the driveway, started at a neighbouring recycling plant. Police said it was malicious.

A fundraising drive for the family collected £12,535.

Andy's mother Sandra, who has been on social media posting messages of gratitude to the generosity of friends, family and strangers, said her son and his wife were still suffering from stress in the aftermath of the blaze.

Writing on Facebook, Mrs Peden added: "Andy and Rebecca are still very stressed and emotional after what has happened.

"My son still can't sleep with the nightmares of what did and could have happened going over and over on his mind. Rebecca is really suffering too, although she's trying to stay strong for Andy. It's not easy losing your home and all your belongings a couple days before Christmas. It will get easier, and hopefully moving into a new home along with all the kind donations will help that.

"We as a family will always be there for them. Thanks to anyone who helped out in any way and happy New Year to you all."

Expressing her gratitude over the money raised, Rebecca said it was "it's just fantastic".

And, reluctant to speak of the emotional turmoil, she added: "We're doing fine".

"We are just trying to get on with things as best we can and get on with our future."

She said Daisy enjoyed Christmas despite the family's ordeal, and was "getting on great and playing with all her toys", adding their focus now was on "looking to our future".

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph