Homeless woman thanks people of Chichester for generosity following arson attack

A woman who's bed and belongings were destroyed after someone set fire to them said she 'really appreciates' the generosity of Chichester residents.

Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 12:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 3:02 pm
Where the fire took place in the underpass under Oaklands Way
Where the fire took place in the underpass under Oaklands Way

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Lauren, who turned 31 last week, said: "It has upset me more that this is people's walkway. A lot of the stuff was given to us by people, I don't understand why someone would do that, they knew it was a woman's stuff that's the thing. I've had my stuff here for five weeks and nothing ever got taken."

Lauren and Mark also have a dog, 10-year-old Brian, which was given to them after a friend they had been staying with in Lavant died. While a bag of dog food and a dog bowl was not burned in the fire, the food has been ruined by soot and Brian's dog bed was destroyed.

Chichester District Council confirmed it had cleared the ashes and has put up a barrier

"We're trying to raise money to get a caravan which area about £700. We could keep living in the tent but it is so cold."

Lauren found the pile of ashes yesterday morning, she said: "I was shocked, I burst out crying. It's just wrong isn't it, they will have seen there was dog stuff and they still did it.

"I would like to say thank you to everyone, I really appreciate it. It's nice to know there's good people. It was a really big shock and I just feel sad that someone's ruined the underpass for people walking past."

Lauren and Mark have spent four weeks sleeping rough in Littlehampton and six weeks on the streets in Chichester and have a tent in the city that they sleep in when it isn't raining.

No sentimental items were destoryed apart from a picture of Jesus and a star given to her by a passerby. An avid reader, Lauren was on the final pages of The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty before it was destroyed in the fire. Lauren has had books donated to her but said she would still like to know what happens at the end of The Husband's Secret.