Brixham blaze family: "We've lost everything"
THE owners of the popular Brixham newsagents which burnt down have lost everything.
Peter Kenneby, his partner Julia Aconley and their children Lauren and Jamie escaped with barely the clothes on their backs.
The family, who have been in Brixham for 22 years and have run Harbour News in Fore Street for almost 11 years, have been left not only homeless but jobless.
Speaking from the terraced back garden which is the only thing that remains of their four-storey town house, the couple spoke of their loss.
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"There's nothing left at all," Mrs Aconley said.
The couple said that more than the material things they had lost, it was the loss of family photographs, mementos from grandparents and the paperwork and school certificates that was most upsetting.
Mrs Aconley, 47, said: "Lauren is a Sea Ranger and was due to go to London for the Jubilee and see the Queen but she might not be able to because she has no passport nor ID to prove who she is."
We are alive and that's the main thing. But the memories. That's something else.
Mr Kenneby, 60, originally from London, said the Brixham community had rallied round and shown 'unbelievable support'.
He said: "There is no way we can thank them enough."
Mr Kenneby, a musician, was playing the drums with his band Hardwire in Paignton at the time of the incident and was called back urgently by his partner as the house started going up in flames.
The family has been allowed to stay in a caravan at a holiday park in Paignton while they sort themselves out.
Mrs Aconley said: "We're better off than many people and yet everyone has been so generous.
Students at Brixham College have come up with their own ideas to raise money for their friend's family.
Within hours of the blaze at Jamie's family home, they set up a Facebook page which has gathered more than 1,050 members.
They also approached Mark Eager, the principal, with their fundraising schemes.
Mr Eager said: "The students have been tremendously supportive."
Keith Williams, vice chairman of the Brixham Chamber of Trade, and a trader in Fore Street, said: "I've known Peter and Julie for 10 years. They have worked really hard to get their business up and running. This must be devastating."
Local councillor Mike Morey, who is also the chairman of the governors at the school, added: "This is Brixham spirit. As a community we have always rallied round. This is just the latest example."
He added: "The firefighters were truly amazing."
The couple said they would want to rebuild the property and move back in their home but didn't know how long it could take.