Belfast Telegraph

Family of missing Lisa Dorrian 'overwhelmed' with offers to rebuild home after blaze

By Rebecca Black

The family of missing Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian say they feel completely overwhelmed by a mass outpouring of support and offers of help after their home was destroyed in a fire.

Their house in Conlig, Co Down was left a charred wreck after an overnight blaze earlier this month.

John Dorrian (71), who was widowed three years ago, and his youngest daughter Ciara (21), were lucky to escape the overnight fire on April 10.

They are now staying with relatives until the work is completed on the house, which could take several months.

The family's devastation was compounded by the fact the house contained so many memories of Lisa, and her mother Pat, who they believe died of a broken heart in 2015, having never seen her daughter's remains returned.

Ms Dorrian was 17-years-old when she disappeared after a party at a caravan site in Ballywalter in 2005.

Her sister Joanne Dorrian told the Belfast Telegraph that all the support has given them a new positive focus.

Thousands of pounds in donations have flooded in, and a number of tradesmen have offered their services free of charge.

"We are at almost £7,500 in total (donations) and offers are coming in from all trades," she said. "We never even dreamed there would be a response like this.

"We felt completely desolate when the fire happened, knowing there was no insurance, and we truly thought we would lose the home which we have lived in for 22 years. That home holds all our memories of Lisa and mum.

"These offers and donations have given us a new positive focus and reminded us that in tragic circumstances the community of Northern Ireland pull together to help each other," she said.

"We have always had support throughout our campaign to find Lisa but this is on another level. We will never be able to repay these people but will be eternally grateful."

Warner Johnston, who runs a building firm, was one of the first to volunteer. "I grew up in Conlig, just a five minute walk away from the Dorrian family, and then saw about the fire online and thought I'd try to lend a hand," he said. "I've never seen such a community response like this. The Dorrians have been through a hard enough time."

Jonny Beattie from JB Plastering and Building, is working to gather together a team of plasterers and also help the family source materials.

"This is what communities should be doing, all coming together to help a family like this," he said.

Scaffolding has gone up around the house, donated by C&T Scaffolding, and work is underway on plans, provided free of charge by DMG Architectural. Other offers of help include windows and doors from Budget Windows.

Joanne added that the family's biggest struggle currently is sourcing and buying materials, and appealed to any builders merchants interested in helping to get in touch. She also thanked Annette McKibbin who set up the Go Fund Me page, and Leanne Bellerby and Tracey Burdock for driving the fundraising.

Belfast Telegraph

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