A mother of five who lost her husband after a year long battle with cancer only to see her home badly damaged in a fire two weeks before Christmas was celebrating yesterday as the family moved back in to their newly refurbished family home following a fundraising drive.
On December 12, 2017 Mary Gore from Mallow, Co Cork, was left without any of her possessions after a fire at her home in College Wood. Her husband Chris had passed away of cancer at Marymount Hospice in Cork just weeks earlier.
Mary told The Neil Prendeville Show, on Cork’s Red FM, that she was shocked when she received a phone call that her house was on fire, whilst at the local school for a Christmas performance involving her children.
“We were getting ready for school. We ran out the door. The nativity play for my girls was on that morning so I didn’t go back like I usually would. At 11am I got a text message from my brother in law saying ‘Go home your house is on fire.’ I sped out the road. Saw the fire brigade there. My father in law was standing there because they had contacted him.
Mary and her children stayed with her brother for the first few nights. Then they were kindly given a house only 10 doors up from their own where they lived temporarily.
She said her children, who are under the age of eight, were heartbroken at the situation.
“Adam had just turned eight and David was seven and the girls ( Sarah, Ellen and Teresa ) were still five. They were devastated. All their toys gone.”
A Go Fund Me page was set up by a friend of the family Carol Guerin. It raised tens of thousands of euro for the family. Poignantly the family moved back home just before Father’s Day.
“The weeks and months after the generosity of people was just mind-blowing. We couldn’t believe that people were so willing to help us in moving in to the house. Kelly’s carpets in Blackpool Cork came down very quickly and put carpets in the (temporary) house so that we could move in. David Casey of Casey’s Furniture was unbelievable. The Furniture Centre in Blackpool gave us a chest of drawers. Aldi now, ‘cause Chris used to work for Aldi, they looked after us really well. Tesco gave us vouchers. Lidl, Supervalu ...everyone was so kind. I would like to thank Glasheen Carpets who came in and did all the flooring in this house (the one she has moved back in to). They even came down on Sunday to put down flooring on their time off.”
Mrs Gore said the generosity of the public made life bearable because they were uninsured at the time of the fire. Chris had been on illness benefit for a year and with five kids to put through school, house insurance cover was a bill too far.
Mary said she and the kids are starting to unpack and are busy putting the personal touches to their home.
“They love being back. This is where all the memories of their dad are. We are happy to be back.”
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