A FUND-RAISER has been launched to help a young Kilwinning family left homeless at Christmas following a fire in their house.

What started off as a night of fun and celebration at the Christmas lights switch-on event in the town on November 24 ended in disaster for Nicole Finlay and her two children when they returned home to discover the blaze in Sundrum Place.

The cooker in the kitchen had caught fire and the boiler exploded when Nicole opened the door.

The young mum managed to rescue her pet dog from the Pennyburn property before fleeing to safety but other items of personal significance were lost.

Nicole said: "I managed to save my daughter Macie's blanket, she's five and my other daughter Rylee is two.

"I have to say thanks to the amazing firemen and women.

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"Unfortunately, I lost my ashes to stone ring containing my brother's ashes and my other brother's hair. I also lost my childhood teddy which was in the kitchen at the time.

"My neighbours have been so kind, I'm very thankful to them for checking in on me the night it happened.

"We're not able to move back into the house until after the new year."

Family friend Lynne Mccabe has since set up an online fund-raising page to support Nicole and help make a difficult festive period slightly easier for her.

Lynne said: "I've known the family since we were kids, I grew up with Nicole's brothers.

"I decided to do this because no one should go through this especially at Christmas and with such a young family she's on her own.

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"I just thought I had to as she was my best friend's little sister.

"I'm hoping to raise as much as people can give, we're all struggling and every little helps."

More than £250 has been raised so far, with some in the community willing to donate Christmas presents as well.

The GoFundMe page added: "Everyone is ok although Nicole and the family have had to move out of their family home and won't be able to move back in until after Christmas.

"She has lost a lot through smoke and water damage including some of Macie and Rylee's Christmas presents.

"So, I'm asking you to please give as much as you can to help this young family out.

"I thought it would be nice to help them out."

Visit the fund-raising page at tinyurl.com/2n3h2e85.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson told the Herald: “We were alerted at 7.34pm on Thursday, November 24 to reports of a house on fire at Sundrum Place, Kilwinning.

“Operations Control mobilised three fire appliances and firefighters extinguished a fire affecting a kitchen on a ground floor of a property.

“There were no reported casualties and crews left after ensuring the area was made safe.”