A FAMILY has been left heartbroken after a garden fire caused more than £30,000 worth of damage and destroyed hugely sentimental items.

Marie Findlay, 37, her partner Byron Breaker-Rolfe, 39, and their two children Blake, 13, and Flynn, 14, were victims of a garden fire last Friday in Billericay.

It is thought to have started when a neighbour’s firework hit a tree and landed on a garden shed.

Within 30 minutes, their two sheds and their family garden room were alight.

One of the sheds was full of items belonging to Mr Breaker-Rolfe’s dad, Roy, who tragically took his own life in February 2021.

The garden room was built in his memory as a “haven” for the family and in the future a space for the children, who both have autism, to live independently.

Marie said: “We are heartbroken. It has hit the whole family really hard. We got a knock on the door, saying a firework had gone over, and as we went running out, it was already too late.

“One shed was completely on fire, and this had the last of Byron’s dad’s things. Then the second shed, which has boxes of photographs, all our Christmas decorations, and the children’s bikes. Then the garden room went up. This is only 18 months old and was paid for with Roy’s life insurance money as we could never afford something like that.

“It was always Roy’s dream to build a space in the garden for Flynn as a place for him later in life as he won’t be able to live completely independently.

“So, we built the garden room in his memory, and it was our haven. It was such a special place for the whole family with gaming on one side, a crafting area on the other – a place for the children to grow up in.

“It is the meaning behind the whole thing. We will never be able to replace it. We have lost everything.”

A JustGiving Page has been set up by a friend of the family in a bid to help them with nearly £2,000 already raised since the fire on November 10.

Marie added: “The damage is worth between £30,000 and £40,000. It brings me to tears to even think about it. It is devastating how quickly something like this can happen, within 30 minutes everything was gone.

“It brings me to tears thinking about the people that have already donated. I don’t think it is lucky to have people supporting you, I believe you get what you give. I have helped so many people over the years, so seeing people supporting us back, means the world.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Marieandfamily