Elderly man has nothing left as fire burns through Truro home with no insurance

An elderly man says he worked all his life just to lose everything in a catastrophic house fire. Keith Hunt, 75, returned from a walk at the weekend to find everything he owned had been destroyed.

The terraced property in Waterloo, Truro, has been completely gutted by the flames and, having had no insurance, Mr Hunt has lost everything he's ever worked for. The retired mason told CornwallLive: "I've worked hard all my life and this is what I get."

Currently housed in temporary accommodation at a local pub, he said: "The people are not very nice here and I'm just hoping to be able to move somewhere else soon. The fire took all the plaster off the walls, the ceilings and the floors," he added. "It's all gone."

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He was out on a walk with his son at the time the fire, which remains unexplained, started. "I was feeding the ducks which I do a few times a week because it makes me happy," he said. Fire crews and an ambulance were at the scene at the time but fortunately nobody was inside.

Photos at the time show firefighters tackling the serious blaze. Locals told CornwallLive they heard the sound of windows smashing and electrical explosions amid the chaos.

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House on fire in Waterloo, Truro
House on fire in Waterloo, Truro -Credit:Yashi Rose

The force incident manager for Devon and Cornwall Police told CornwallLive on Sunday, May 12: "We were called at 1.21pm by the ambulance service. Officers are now at the scene."

In the aftermath, one of Mr Hunt's neighbours is trying to raise him some money to help towards rebuilding his life. On a GoFundMe page you can find here, Yashi Culver said: "My name is Yashi, and my elderly neighbour Keith recently experienced a devastating house fire, sending his life's worth of belongings and the property he owns up in flames. It's with his consent that I've created this account, and he asks for your help.

"Keith is a lovely man who has certain difficulties that cause him to struggle greatly with trying to organise the help he needs to restore his home. He's resigned himself to selling the property as he's lost all hope in getting it back into a liveable condition.

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"He's absolutely desperate not to be forced to move away from his beloved home, and the neighbourhood that he is deeply rooted to. It's a mid-terrace property, and there is structural work required, including things like refitting the electrics and gas, new windows and doors, floors and ceilings, etc.

"After this point, he will need to have his belongings replaced so he can start the long journey towards recovering from such a traumatic event. All appliances and furniture will also need replacing.

"I'm not exaggerating when I say that everything in the property is unsalvageable. It has remained boarded up since the incident took place and Keith has been staying at a local inn.

Keith Hunt outside his home that was destroyed in a fire
He didn't have home insurance and says he's worked all his life to be left with nothing -Credit:Greg Martin / Cornwall Live

"Thankfully, Keith was out of his home at the time and is unharmed. Regardless, this is taking an enormous toll on him, as it would anyone. He had no insurance to cover any of this and would need to start completely from scratch.

"Any donations will be going towards the repairs on his home, and to replace items he lost. If there happens to be anything remaining, it will go directly to Keith to help him with his fresh start."

She said what lies ahead will be a "gargantuan mission" but hopes that with the kindness of others, people can help Keith put his life back together.