Elsie's home up for sale following unsuccessful rebuild project

Elsies projec

After over a year of trying to rebuild Elsie Van der Steen’s home following a devastating fire, her bungalow has gone on the market unfinished.

Elsie, 86 lost her home and almost all of her belongings in a blaze that tore through her home on 7th March 2015.

A fire destroyed Elsie's home

A fire destroyed Elsie’s home

It soon became apparent that Elsie, then 85, had no insurance. The community donated thousands in hope to re-build her home and both businesses and individuals donated time and goods in a bid to finish the project.

During the rebuild project

During the rebuild project

Unfortunately, due a series of delays and lack of skilled volunteers, the project has been ended and Elsie’s bungalow is now up for sale.

On facebook today, Pat Preston posted to Elsie’s home rebuild project:
“It is with great regret and sadness that the need has arisen to call a halt to this project.

“Several months into the project we became aware that Structural Engineers and Architects needed to be involved to enable Building Regulations to be met. This left us unable to do anything until the Building Regulations position was sorted with the Council.

“After a few months, once the Council were happy, the initial interest and volunteers had waned and it was very hard to find volunteers who had the necessary skills to complete the rebuilding.

“This, combined now with lack of funds (as we have had to be paying for scaffolding and this has eaten up a lot of the funds due to the delays incurred with the Building Regulations and then trying to get more volunteers with the appropriate skills) we are now in the position of not being able to progress further with the rebuilding, in spite of the odd person helping out.

“Elsie is now 86 and living in a little flat and is very happy there , she would like now to just sell the burned bungalow to enable her to purchase and stay in this flat. I am sure you will all understand that the whole experience has been very traumatic for her so would agree that at her time of life she needs to be settled.

“All donations made to Elsie have been used for building materials, scaffolding etc. We have a full record of all money spent from donations and they can be viewed by any interested party.

“At this point we would like to thank Interline Builders Merchants for all their support and will be hoping that sufficient funds can be raised from the sale of the property and purchase of the flat, to enable a donation to their charity of choice, but with the request that it does not include animal abuse organisations i.e. grants for vivisection as this is something Elsie, and many people who donated, are very much against.

“Elsie would also like to give her heartfelt thanks, gratitude and appreciation to all the kind people that have assisted her since the fire occurred.”

(Author)

Team account for We Are South Devon.