Northern Ireland news

Lisa Dorrian's family home burns down in accidental fire

Lisa Dorrian disappeared after a party at a caravan site in Ballyhalbert on February 28, 2005
Marie Louise McConville

The family home of a missing Co Down woman has been gutted in an accidental house fire destroying her belongings.

A fundraising campaign was today launched to help the Dorrian family in the aftermath of the tragedy, which saw the home where they have lived for 22 years, completely destroyed.

The fire comes as the family continue to appeal for information on the disappearance of their sister, Lisa.

The shop assistant, who was 25, went missing after a party at a caravan site in Ballyhalbert on February 28, 2005.

Despite repeated appeals, her body has never been found.

Police believe the young woman was murdered.

The police investigation has included statements from 571 people, 275 searches and eight arrests on suspicion of murder. However, no-one has ever been charged.

Lisa's mother, Pat (59) died in 2015 without knowing what had happened her daughter.

It emerged today that the family had no house insurance and the damage amounted to around £40,000.

Announcing what had happened on Facebook, on the `Letsfindlisa' page, the family said: "The 3rd worst day of our lives happened today...Our family home has been completely ruined by a house fire, a house that we grew up in with my mum and Lisa for the last 22 years...please show your support and do anything u can to help"

Speaking to the BBC, the family said: "We do feel grateful that no-one was hurt or injured as we have been through enough as a family but we have thousands of pounds worth of damage and sadly no house insurance.

"Friends have started a Go Fund Me page to help with repairing our home and we are so thankful that the local community are coming together to help us."

They added that not only had the fire destroyed the family's belongings but also "every item of Lisa's".

The GoFundMe page, which is aiming to raise £40,000, said the Dorrian family had been "to hell and back".

A statement on the page read: "I really believe in the good people of Northern Ireland and know you will all want to help. The house is destroyed and they have lost almost everything.

"Lisa's dad is a 71 year old man who has always worked hard for his family and has held this wee family together through tragedy after tragedy. He now doesn't even have a roof over his head".

The public have been asked to donate anything they can "whether it's money, labour, expertise, this house needs rebuilt from the inside out".

Donations to the cause can be made at www.gofundme.com/dorrian-family-home

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