Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Paphos family’s plea to get home to UK for funeral

By Bejay Browne

A PAPHOS family has appealed to the public to help them raise the funds needed to fly to the UK to say their final goodbyes to their mother/grandmother, after she was tragically killed in a house fire in Barnsley, South Yorkshire last week.

Katherine  Collard
Katherine Collard

According to the BBC, police reported that a man and a woman, Katherine Collard, 55, and Erwin Albers, 62, were pronounced dead after the blaze on Cherry Tree Street, Elsecar on July 7.

The deceased woman lived in Paphos for seven years and returned to the UK in 2012. She was well known and popular in the community, who have been left shocked.

Her daughter, Stacy Collard, still lives in Paphos with her family, and has set up an appeal on “gofundme” site to help fly the family to the UK, so they can attend the funeral. Nine hundred pounds is also required to cover the outstanding costs of the funeral itself.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire.

Family friend Karen Sampson, who lives in Paphos, told the Cyprus Mail that family members living in Paphos are, daughter Stacy, husband Pete and the couple’s children, Chelsie 17, Charlie 16 and Josh 10. They are all still stunned by the tragedy and desperate to get back to the UK to be able to attend the funeral.

She said the family had endured bad times in the past but things had started to look up.
“Stacy and Pete both got jobs and things started to get better,” she said.

She added that no matter what hardships the family have had to face, they were always positive and never complained. “And now this tragedy,” she said.

Sampson said they needed to raise £2,900 in total to cover flights and funeral costs.

“Unfortunately this time of the year flights are expensive getting back to the UK.”

“Stacy is in a very bad way and still in shock. She flew back to the UK on Saturday to attend to the funeral arrangements, and they now need to get the rest of them there.”

The Yorkshire Post reported that neighbour David Leach, went with other neighbours to try to rescue the two deceased before fire crews arrived, but were beaten back by heat and smoke.

“I’m a window cleaner and I’ve got ladders to reach the top windows. When we went round the window panes were melting because of the heat. We were spraying it all with a hosepipe. The back door was locked but we smashed the glass to get inside. We knew they were in there because they never go out. The heat was intense, we had to come out. It was terrible. We were shouting for them but couldn’t hear anything. When we got to the top of the stairs that was it. It was too hot and it was just thick with smoke.”

Stacy Collard said on her “gofundme” page: “My mum sadly passed away on 7th July and I know she would want her grandchildren to be there to say goodbye. Living in another country makes this very hard, so I’m asking for as much help as possible. I never ask for help, but I’m desperate for my family to all be together when we say our final goodbyes to my mum. I don’t expect a lot just as much as you can afford would be appreciated. My mum will be so happy to see everyone helping each other.”

Sampson said: “Stacy plans to bring her mums ashes home to Cyprus and have some kind of memorial service here at a later stage.”

To help the family reach their target of £2,900 visit

http://www.gofundme.com/yzb3a2xa2

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