Community rallies round house-fire family

Dramatic photo as fire took grip of Irene MacClounnan's pink house on the edge of Dalavich. Photograph: Luis Maria Gonzalez Araujo

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Crowdfunders have raised thousands of pounds for a Dalavich family who lost everything in a house fire.

More than £6,000  has been donated so far to a crowdfunder online for Irene MacClounnan whose house burned to the ground.

Everything was lost in the fire at Irene MacClounnan’s home on July 8. Photograph: Luis Maria Gonzalez Araujo
Devastation after the fire in Dalavich. Nothing inside was saved except for her family and four pets. Photograph:
Luis Maria Gonzalez Araujo

Taynuilt Post Office is also being used as a drop-off point for donations and contributions as part of an effort by elders and parishioners at Muckairn Church that has links with Dalavich and Kilchrenan.

Session Clerk for Muckairn Church Ann Scott said people in and out of the church family all wanted to help.

‘This is what happens at terrible times like this. The whole community wants to help,’ she said.

Irene, her granddaughter Lauren and friend Luis were left with just their nightclothes after the blaze broke out in the early hours of July 8.

It is believed it started after a wax melt in a jar was accidentally knocked over and shattered. Wax spilled on to bedding and the house ‘went up so quickly’, Irene told The Oban Times.

After check-ups at the hospital they were given the all clear and allowed out, although Lauren needed treatment for minor burns.

Irene,  also relieved to be reunited with her four pets, is now staying at a relative’s home in the village until she can start rebuilding her house.

Her niece Alison Wright set up the Crowdfunding page to try and get basic home essentials and clothing to help the devastated family get back on its feet.

Irene, who has stood down as chairperson of Dalavich Improvement Group so she can  concentrate on rebuilding a future, said people’s kindness and generosity ‘means the world’.

‘Everything on the walls had sentimental value. I lost things belonging to my mother, wedding presents from my first marriage, a Royal Albert china set, so much has all gone but at least we are still here and have our lives. I was asleep when it happened. It was terrifying how it all went up so quickly.

‘I’d like to thank everyone who is helping us. It really does mean the world,’ said the 70-year-old.

You can make a donation at

Caption: Dramatic photograph as fire took grip of Irene MacClounnan’s pink house on the edge of Dalavich. Photograph: Luis Maria Gonzalez Araujo