More than £2,000 has been raised across the district to help support a family who lost their home in a fire over the weekend.

As of today (Tuesday, September 17) £2,470 has been donated to the Go Fund Me page within three days - exceeding the original target of £1,000.

Fire crews from Loughton, Harlow, Old Harlow, Brentwood and Chelmsford were called to the blaze on Turret Court, Ongar, at 7:10pm on Saturday, September 14.

The fire was extinguished at around 11pm – almost three hours after the incident took place and has since been recorded as an accident which started in the kitchen.

Fortunately, here were no reported casualties but the house which was home to a family of five was completely destroyed.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Laura Roberts, from Ongar, a family friend who launched the campaign just hours after hearing of the tragedy.

Speaking about the money raised so far, she said: “I first heard about it when I see a post on Facebook and then see the appeal asking for people to donate clothes and bits for the family.

“A few people were saying about a GoFundMe page but they didn't know how to sort one out which is when I offered to set one up.

“I was very surprised it's great to see the community to come together in such awful times and support the family.

“Makes me proud to be part of an amazing community like Ongar.”

The page titled called 'Supporting Ben and Janine', reads: "Tonight an awful event happened and a lovely couple Ben and Janine lost their house and everything in it to a house fire.

"Fortunately them and their three children got out safely. As a community can we all please pull together and help them by donating to support them through this horrific ordeal. Thank you in advance."

Ms Roberts has kept in touch with the family following the ordeal and said there is talks of holding more fundraising events to help rebuild the couple and their three children’s lives.

“From memory I think in the 34 years I've been here this is the worst incident I've ever seen happen,” she explained. “I don't know where they are currently staying but I know they are very overwhelmed and thankful for all the support and help that they have received from the community.”

If you would like to make a donation to ‘Supporting Ben and Janine’, visit