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Firm rallies to the aid of tragic family

PUBLISHED: 10:23 16 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010

WE just had to help.

That's the heart warming message from staff at the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society today as they rally to the aid of a family in need.

WE just had to help.

That's the heart warming message from staff at the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society today as they rally to the aid of a family in need.

Following reports in The Evening Star that the grief-stricken family of Ipswich blaze victim Anton Fox were desperately in need of basic household items after much of their property was destroyed by fire, the Co-op has come up trumps with a gift of a brand new washing machine.

Spokeswoman Miriam Harrup, said that the family were regular customers at the Co-op's Ulster Avenue food store in Ipswich and staff there had been greatly affected by news of the tragedy.

Seven-year-old Handford Hall pupil, Anton, died when fire broke out in the bedroom of his home in Marlow Road, Ipswich, in the early hours of January 3.

"Obviously the loss has been keenly felt in the area," said Mrs Harrup.

"Anton's family are regular shoppers at our Ulster Avenue food store. We wanted to do anything we could to help them in such a sad time."

The blaze, which is believed to have been caused by a portable electric fire, destroyed one bedroom and caused serious smoke damage to the rest of the house, leaving the family without basics such as adequate clothes, child buggies and toys.

Anton's mother, Ester, who is five months pregnant, escaped the blaze along with Anton's brothers and sisters Joseph, eight, Tamara, five, Brendan, four and Star, two plus their 14-year-old uncle Thomas.

Paul Emmett, a newsagent in Ulster Avenue has volunteered the use of his shop as a collection point for gifts from well-wishers and the family have already been inundated with support.

Mrs Harrup added that the store would keep hold of the Hotpoint automatic washing machine and then transport and install it when the family was ready.

n If you would like to help and have anything to donate please take it to Ulster Avenue News.

n Details of Anton's funeral have been released.

Family and friends will pay their last respects to Anton at St Thomas Parish Church on Friday. The service, at the Bramford Lane church, begins at 2pm. Floral tributes can be sent to the Co-operative Chapel of Rest in Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich.

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