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Help is pouring in for fire family

PUBLISHED: 14:22 07 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 March 2010

THE tragic death of little Anton Fox has touched the hearts of the community and today the family thanked those who set up a fund in support.

It follows after Paul Emmett, who runs the newsagents shop in Ulster Avenue, just round the corner from the Marlow Road home of Anton and his family, offered to use his shop as a base to collect household goods, clothes and toys for the family of the tragic seven-year-old.

THE tragic death of little Anton Fox has touched the hearts of the community and today the family thanked those who set up a fund in support.

It follows after Paul Emmett, who runs the newsagents shop in Ulster Avenue, just round the corner from the Marlow Road home of Anton and his family, offered to use his shop as a base to collect household goods, clothes and toys for the family of the tragic seven-year-old.

Mr Emmett has also set up a fund for the family at Ulster Avenue News, and is urging people to rally to the cause.

As the funeral arrangements were today being made for the little boy Anton's grandmother, Jacinta Fox, said: "People have been so wonderful, so kind. The kids all lost their Christmas presents in the fire. A lot of money was spent on them and they've all gone. People are already bringing clothes to us and I am so grateful to them."

Mr Emmett, 51, offered to step in after Anton was killed in a fire which ripped through his home last week.

The newsagent who delivered papers to the house although did not know the family well, said: "I thought about it all day and wanted to do something.

"Everybody in the community are upset by it. I am a grandfather and this really hits home that it could happen to anybody any time.

"The family were local and we are local. We are a community and people pull together in times like this.

"I hope they can find it in their hearts to dip into their pockets. We also have plenty of space to store things here. If they have any clothes, kitchen equipment or anything, bring it in here."

Anton's grandmother, earlier told The Star the family, including Joseph, eight, Tamara, five, Brendan, four and Star, two, were in need of toys, bathroom and kitchen equipment, furniture, and a washing machine because the family are staying at with her and she doesn't have a machine. "We are in desperate need of help," she said.

"We did salvage a few things from downstairs, a few coats and but not much and nothing from upstairs.

"Anton's mother, Ester, can't bare to look at the little boy's things. We can't erase the memories but with fresh clothes we don't have to look at the old ones.

"We also need towels, soap, kettles, bedroom furniture, a big buggy with a tray underneath, a washing machine. Anything people can think of, we need." She spoke of wanting to get a puppy as a surprise for Joseph, who is the most traumatised by the fire as he tried to wake his brother.

Mr Emmett, 51, and Keith and Linda Harvey from The White House Takeaway, also in Ulster Avenue, have a collection tin on the counter.

People can also sign a card of condolence at Ulster Avenue News which will be given to the family.

Flower Scene is also thinking of putting together some flowers from the shopkeepers on the parade.

The fire destroyed one bedroom and caused serious smoke damage to the rest of the house almost opposite White House Junior School.

It was thought to have been caused by an electric fire – described by the fire service as a two-bar radiant type heater – to keep the youngster warm.

Mrs Fox earlier told how the family made a tragic error by forgetting to replace a battery in a smoke detector.

She could not hold back the tears as she told how they had overlooked replacing the battery at the little boy's home.

Anton's mother, Ester, who is five months pregnant, and his father, Mark Ditcham, have been inconsolable since the death of their little boy.

n If you would like to donate items or cash please take it to Ulster Avenue News to be passed on to the family.

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