Couple left with 'nothing' after fire destroys home and kills pets

David Calver (inset) and his wife Trudie lost "everything" after their home in Ashmanhaugh burned down.

David Calver (inset) and his wife Trudie lost "everything" after their home in Ashmanhaugh burned down. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A devastated couple have been left with "only the clothes they're standing in" after a fire ripped through their home, destroying their possessions and killing their beloved cats. 

David Calver, 67, was working his morning delivery shift at Sprowston Garden Centre on July 19 when he received a call that his Ashmanhaugh home was on fire.

Mr Calver and his wife Trudie, 58, raced back and watched their home billow black smoke as neighbours tearfully told them their beloved cats, Phoebe and Treasure, were inside. 

David and Trudie Calver had lived in the home since 2000 with their cats Phoebe and Treasure

David and Trudie Calver had lived in the home since 2000 with their cats Phoebe and Treasure

The Calvers had lived in the house since 2000, adding it was "filled with memories and irreplaceable photographs".  

Mr Calver said: “We have lost everything. 

"Our beautiful cats, every bit of scrap and paper - our lives. Just gone.”

Mr Calver was out on delivery in Norwich when the fire took hold and was called to "get the cats out". 

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He said: “I hurtled home but when I got to the house, I wasn’t able to get close.  

The day after a devastating field fire destroyed homes in Ashmanhaugh
Byline: Sonya Duncan

The family lost everything. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

“I just had to stand there and watch it, knowing everything we owned was in those flames.

“I stood there looking at it thinking: ‘That's my life gone up there’ as it burned."

It comes after Norfolk's fire service declared a major incident with engines called to more than 70 blazes in a day.

The Calvers do not have insurance for their home but have been "blown away" by the help they have received from friends and the public.

Mr Calver said: "We had to go to a charity shop in Wroxham to buy clothes on Wednesday morning. 

"When they realised what had happened, the staff wouldn't let us pay.

“My boss also contacted me straight away to make sure I was OK and to see if we needed anything. 

"The company is going to support me while I get back on my feet.  

The day after a devastating field fire destroyed homes in Ashmanhaugh
Byline: Sonya Duncan

The blaze was started as a nearby field caught fire due to the heatwave. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

“The kindness of everyone really has been overwhelming.” 

Paul Marlow, Sprowston Garden Centre manager, said: “We have such a close-knit team and David is so well liked and respected by both staff and customers.” 

The business has started a collection to help Mr and Mrs Calver to start again when they are able.  

There is also a Just Giving page to help not only the Calvers but also their neighbour, Keith Grant, who also lost his home in the fire.  

The day after a devastating field fire destroyed homes in Ashmanhaugh
Byline: Sonya Duncan

No one was able to rescue the beloved family cats Phoebe and Treasure. - Credit: Sonya Duncan