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Community rallies around family after tragic gas explosion

NEARLY £4,000 has been raised by the public for a family whose house was destroyed in Brae in a tragic gas explosion on Tuesday.

Police confirmed on Wednesday that an 84-year-old woman, named locally as Peggy Griffiths, had died after being taken to hospital following the explosion.

A teenage boy, understood to be her grandson, was also in the property at Ockragarth but he managed to escape before being treated for minor injuries.

An online donations page has now been launched to raise money for the family to help them “rebuild their lives”.

“This property was home to the Griffiths family – two of which were in the property at the time of the incident and sadly the grandmother, Peggy, passed away in hospital overnight,” the page stated.

“The grandson Philip (16 years old) was also in the property in an upstairs bedroom and fell out of the house – he thankfully survived the incident however has lost absolutely all his personal belongings from his clothes, phone, DVDs, game consoles etc.

“Please help raise money to support Philip and his mother Mary in buying necessary belongings in order to try help rebuild their lives.”

At just after 9am on Thursday morning over £3,900 had been raised – nearly four times the initial target.

Claire Irvine wrote in response: “I would just like to say thank you all for your generous donations to help my mum and brother at this very tragic time.”

Chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch said on Wednesday that “our enquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service”.

“However, there are no apparent suspicious circumstances,” he said.

North mainland councillor Emma Macdonald said it was “terrible news”.

“My thoughts are very much with the family involved and the whole community,” she added.