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Dad and several children feared to be dead after inferno on Welsh farm

By Rod Minchin

A fundraising page in support of a family whose father is believed to have died in a fire at a farmhouse in rural Wales has already raised almost £2,500.

Well-wishers have left donations totalling £2,495 on a JustGiving page just a day after the tragedy at a remote property at Llangammarch Wells, Powys.

David Cuthbertson, who was known as Dave and thought to be in his 60s, is feared to be among those who perished in the fire, alongside several members of his family.

Police said there had been fatalities but due to the severity of the damage they were unable to confirm how many people had been killed.

A message on the JustGiving site says: "I'm sure any small donation will help them massively."

Other tributes read "Very sad. Special thoughts are sent to family and friends...x" and "So sad. R.I.P. x".

A neighbour raised the alarm shortly after midnight on Monday and three children, aged 13, 12, and 10, managed to escape the burning house unharmed, but police said "a number of people" are missing.

Ron Birchall (73), who lives at the former Aberceiros Inn in the village, said: "He (Mr Cuthbertson) was a great guy.

"All I can say is that he was a great father who loved his kids and doted on them."

Mr Birchall said he had known Mr Cuthbertson since he first moved to the village 15 years ago.

"We have been living here since 2002 and when we arrived he was living in a village a couple of miles away and then a year or so later he moved to the village," he recalled.

"I used to see him walking around the village or in his vehicle.

"We saw the kids coming to pick up the bus to school."

Mr Birchall said he and his wife Rosemary knew nothing about the incident until they woke up in the morning - even though around 20 emergency vehicles had parked nearby.

"The village is devastated. We didn't realise anything had happened in the early hours and we didn't know anything until we got up at 6am," he said.

Mr Birchall added that Mr Cuthbertson was separated from his partner, who had moved away after suffering a stroke. County councillor Tim Van-Rees, who represents the area, spoke of the community's shock at the devastating loss of life.

"I knew the family, not well, and I knew the father and several of the children," he said.

"They were a large family, although I am not sure how many were living there.

"It is absolutely shocking and a devastating blow, and it is possibly just as well we are in half-term at the moment because the effect on our children and the schools would have been very severe."

Chief Superintendent Richard Lewis, of Dyfed Powys Police, said the three children who escaped were being treated in hospital but did not have life-threatening injuries.

"However, there are a number of people unaccounted for at this time and we can confirm that there are known to be fatalities," he commented.

"Specialist scientists and fire investigators are still assessing the scene and at this time we are treating the cause of the fire as unexplained."

The fundraising page to raise money to support the family is available at

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