Linslade man 'loses everything' after canal boat fire

A man has “lost everything” after his boat was engulfed in flames while moored on the Grand Union Canal in Linslade.

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 3:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 10:56 am
The barge on fire (C: Leighton Buzzard Community Fire Station

The man, known only as ‘Paul’, was treated in hospital for burns and smoke inhalation following the blaze at 8.45pm on Friday, February 5.

Since then, an online fundraiser has been launched to help Paul get back on his feet, with over £3,400 raised.

Niece Tara Pearce stated on the fundraising page: “He is in a specialist hospital where he is being treated for several burns over his body. He has lost all personal belongings and everything he had.

“His boat was his home and his life. Some very kind people are asking if they could help donate and get Paul back on his feet once he’s recovered.”

Paul’s family have thanked the public for their help donating to the appeal.

A Beds Police spokesman said: “We were called by the East of England Ambulance Service just before 8.45pm on Friday evening (February 5) to a report of a barge on fire at the West Dock, at the Wharf in Linslade.

“Emergency services attended and one man was treated for injuries at the scene before being taken to hospital.

“The incident is not being treated as suspicious so there is no further police involvement.”

A police officer at the scene warned the public that boats often contain fuel and gas canisters, and to always step far back in the event of a fire.

Leighton Buzzard Community Fire Station posted online that two fire engines had been sent to the incident.

They added: “On our arrival the boat was 100% involved in fire. Access was difficult which resulted initially in one crew fighting the fire from the opposite side of the canal with a water jet.

“Thanks to helpful residents at The Wharf, they opened their doors allowing us to run a hose through the building. We were able to send a hose reel across the canal to a crew on the towpath closer to the boat using a floating throw line.”

To donate to the fundraiser, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-paul-to-re-build-his-life.