Almost £25,000 has been raised for a university student whose family died in a tragic house fire just days before Christmas.
Milena Kordaszewska’s mother Alina and 11-year-old sister Emilia died in a blaze at the family home in Braintree on December 21 after becoming trapped in an upstairs room.
A joint fire and police investigation concluded that the fire was started by candles in the lounge.
Now, Milena’s friends have raised thousands of pounds to help the 18-year-old and her father Rafal rebuild their lives.
Set up by a woman named Sophie King, the JustGiving page reads: “On Wednesday 21st of December one of my dearest friends family home set alight.
“This itself is such a horrid thing to happen so close to Christmas, but unfortunately not everyone made it to safety. Her mother and little sister became trapped and didn’t make it out of the house.
“This left an 18 year old with her father to lose everything they love, family, possessions and a place that was safe for them.
“Although materialistic things can never heal what’s happened, nobody deserves to have nothing at Christmas.”
Asking for donations so Milena and her father do not have to worry about “finding accomodation and eating”, King added:
“Let’s hope that as a community we can make our love and support heard for Milena and her family.”
While fundraisers set a target of £5,000, the donations of more than 1,400 people meant this was met on the first day. The current total stands at £24, 676.
One anonymous donor wrote: “I send my donation with heartfelt thoughts and hopes that this family can somehow rebuild their lives. I cannot imagine their grief at this time, life will never be the same.”
A woman named Christine Donaldson added: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic event. Emilia was a lovely friend to my daughter Katie. Her bubbly personality shone with her huge smiles, laughter and hugs. She was a credit to her parents.
“My daughter was so pleased to have found a friend like Emilia when she started at Notley and is heart broken to have lost her. May your angels Alina and Emilia rest in peace.”
Paying tribute to his wife and daughter, Rafal Kordaszewska told the Telegraph: “Alina and Emila were very much loved and we will miss them greatly. We would like to thank everyone for their support and everything they have done for us.”
To donate, please visit the JustGiving page.