TWO tourists were lucky when their motorhome burst into flames after the couple had just exited the vehicle.
The couple were stranded on the Black Isle following the fire on Friday.
Ellie O’Brien and her friend were traveling from England and visiting the small Highland village of Cromarty after seeing Ms O’Brien’s father in a nursing home when tragedy struck.
After parking on the beach near the Royal Hotel, they had just exited the vehicle when Ms O’Brien’s friend screamed as flames began to shoot from the front taxi.
Ms O’Brien explained what happened on a GoFundMe page set up after the incident.
It read: “As I got out of the car my friend screamed and when I turned around I saw flames shooting up from the front of the cab.”
“As we ran back we got the dogs out and I jumped back to get the fire extinguisher.
“When it was empty, I jumped back again to get the fire blanket. Neither worked.”
“The van was full of thick black smoke and we were very aware that it contained 3/4 diesel and a petrol cartridge. So we went to safety.”
“Of course 999 was called, but due to our location it took some time for the car to arrive. The van burned for almost an hour.”
“The fire department was great, as were the paramedics who checked us for smoke inhalation and shock.
“They believe this was just a freak accident as the engine was off, the key was removed and there were no warning signs or clues as to the cause.”
“The most important thing is that we are safe. We came out and the two dogs came out too. We’re very lucky that this didn’t happen while we were sleeping.”
“However, we fell by the wayside. The local people were beyond amazing and rallied around us. But the van was both our accommodation and our means of transport.”
“Fortunately, the insurance company told us last night that we should stay in the vehicle. They would cover the hotel costs and take us home today.
“Today we were told that the out of hours insurance was a different agency and our actual insurance would not do this.
“They point out that they would have taken us home last night instead, but not the day after.”
“Nevertheless, as a goodwill gesture they have agreed to take us home, but that will not be until Monday at the earliest.”
“They will not fund accommodation or transport in the meantime. We are currently 500 miles from home.”
“The hotel for the next two nights is £185 and we had to get a rental car by Monday as we are in the highlands, which cost us another £130.”
“Apart from two lifetime bags, our belongings have perished.”
“My phone, laptop, clothes, medications, car keys, house keys, personal items, even stupid things like my hair straightener and our favorite game, Dobble.”
“Hopefully our insurance will come through, but to be honest I don’t have high hopes. They said they would cover the vehicle but not the possessions.”
“Again, these are just possessions. Everything can be replaced and I’m so grateful that this isn’t the worst case scenario.”
“Anyone who wants to help in these difficult times and is able to do so has come to the right place.”
“Any help with accommodation and travel costs will be greatly appreciated.
“We have set a target of £400 to cover our hotel and travel costs.
“But everything else that is donated will go towards replacing our clothes, my phone and personal items.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the fundraiser can do so Here.
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