PEOPLE have dug deep to help a family who lost everything in a devastating house blaze, after they escaped with only the clothes they were wearing.

The fire at the home on Long Street in Thirsk on March 29 took hold so quickly that the woman who lived there and her elderly father left their home with nothing.

Motorists and residents reported seeing thick, black smoke billowing from the house, shortly followed by flames. Moments later it became apparent a man was still inside the building.

He was saved from the building by Ismail Kadeh, from the Shiny Star Hand Car Wash opposite the home.

He broke down the front door of the house with two members of his staff and went into the burning building when the man’s daughter called for help. She had been unable to move her father from the home.

The men carried him to safety outside and then returned to work at the car wash.

Now Danielle Groves, manger of the Nisa store several doors down from the home and her customers have raised just short of £500 for the family within a week with donations made in the shop.

“It’s a great community here and they have really come together for them,” she said.

“We raised this amount in just a week. They just live five doors down from the shop and they’re lovely people. What's happened to them is terrible.

“They have nothing left at all; it’s all gone up. She had no shoes on her when she got out the house.”

Danielle said people were also grateful to the workers at the car wash on the street, who carried the elderly man from the home to safety.

“The lads from the car wash put their lives at risk, they were absolutely brilliant.

"If it wasn’t for them it could have been nasty.

"People are very grateful to them. After they had pulled him out, everyone was out helping to keep him comfortable. The community really did pull together,” she said.

Fire engines from Thirsk, Ripon, Boroughbridge and Northallerton and an aerial turntable ladder from Huntington were sent to the blaze.

A fire investigation officer said the cause was accidental.

It is believed something had been left too close to a fire and overheated.