Tragedy struck in Burngreave, Sheffield, on December 25, at 6.30pm, when a woman received a phone call about her home of 30 years being on fire.
Karen Wilson, also known as Aisha Special K, had been invited to a dinner at her sister’s home and left the house along with her son at 4pm. Upon returning, she witnessed crews from Central, Rivelin and Parkway fire stations tackling the blaze.
The fire was caused by a fridge freezer located in the kitchen on the first floor of the house.
Aisha said: “I would like to commend our fire service and thank them for their quick response in extinguishing the fire and securing the property.
“I am grateful to the Sheffield City Council for providing suitable emergency accommodation and to Councillor Paul Wood who is responsible for housing for his support in ensuring my situation and the schedule of works to repair the property is actioned as a matter of urgency and priority.”
One of the neighbours, Nuria Quintilla, helped her set up a GoFundMe page to replace all the essential equipment, furniture and items needed to sort the house out so she can live there again.
In a heart-rending post, Nuria described how Aisha has been left with ‘nothing apart from the love, respect and kindness from her community’, which she said was ‘keeping her going right now, instead of collapsing into a heap of emotional breakdown and heartbreak from the loss of her beautiful family home where she lived for nearly 30 years’.
So far, 175 donors have between them contributed more than £5,000.
A grateful Aisha said: “My family, friends and community have been amazing, the worldwide response has been overwhelming and touching.
“The kitchen is severely fire damaged and from there upward is smoke damaged. Everything smells of fire and needs replacing. Any offers of support will be appreciated.”
To donate, click here.