Kerry family devastated after their home is burnt to the ground – ‘the house has been totally destroyed’

by beauanthon0225

Fundraising has begun to help the family rebuild their lives after their home of 45 years was destroyed in Good Friday fire

A Kerry father has been left with only the clothes on his back after a blaze ripped though his home in rural south Kerry.

Pieter J Bot was visiting a neighbour when he saw smoke coming from his home of more than 45 years in Behaghane in Castlecove.

Rushing to the scene he watched as the blaze ripped through his beloved home which he had built with his very own hands and which he was currently renovating on his retirement.

Pieter and Marianne moved from Amsterdam in the late 1970’s and built the family home in their beloved Kerry between Castlecove and Sneem and where they raised five daughters.

As a builder Pieter had renovated and built many homes and this was his passion and he had put his love and dedication into this home, which was his pride and joy.

Now his dreams are in tatters and every single possession he owned burnt, as the fire ripped through the timber-frame home completely destroying it.

The house has been totally destroyed including his workshop. He is a builder so he has lost his home and his work. It literally burnt to the ground

All their possessions from childhood including treasured family albums and mementoes have all been lost in the devastating blaze, leaving Pieter with no place to live.

“The house has been totally destroyed including his workshop. He is a builder so he has lost his home and his work. It literally burnt to the ground,” explained his daughter Linde.

“He was so proud of the house, so proud of every little thing.”

The site where Pieter Bot’s house was. It burnt to the ground on Good Friday. The only remaining structure is a workshop at the back of the house. Photo by Michael Donnelly.

Linde explained that her father, who is his 70s, had been building an extension and re-roofing the house. It is feared the materials lying around the house may have helped fuel the blaze.

While the exact cause of the fire is not known it is believed that a spark from the timber in the stove may have ignited it.

Given its rural location it took some time for fire crews to attend and units from Sneem, Cahersiveen and even Killarney and Killorglin were tasked to the fire at around lunch-time on Good Friday, but sadly it could not be saved.

To further compound the devastating news the family have no insurance so Pieter will have to start from scratch.

The devastating aftermath of a fire that burnt a family home to the ground. All that remains is part of a workshop on the site. Photo by Michael Donnelly.

The well-known local man has also just recovered from a serious accident when he fell off the roof the house undertaking works last year and broke his collar bone and suffered other serious injuries leaving him unable to work.

“It has been a tough few years for him,” says Linde.

He is currently staying with his daughter as he sources a new place to live and to help him get back on his feet and hopefully rebuild on the site in the future a GoFundMe has been set up.

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Pieter J Bot at the site where his house burnt to the ground on Good Friday. Photo by Michael Donnelly.

The community have also rowed in behind the family on hearing the terrible news and Linde says they are beyond grateful for all the support they have received to date.

“People have been absolutely amazing. We are so overwhelmed with the support,” says Linde who along with her sisters Wendy, Sascha, Femhe, and Lonneke are absolutely devastated by what happened.

While they now live in various locations across Kerry this was their family home and they are still in shock at what has occurred.

The Bot family home burnt to the ground on Good Friday. All that remains is ashes and debris and partial walls of a workshop. Photo by Michael Donnelly.

However, she said they are so grateful that nobody died in the terrible incident.

The family are hopeful that local businesses might come on board and donate materials and tools to help Pieter get back on his feet.

Writing on the GoFundMe website the family said they want to try and help their dad rebuild his life.

The devastating scene left behind after a fire burnt to the Bot family house to the ground on Good Friday. Photo by Michael Donnelly.

“Pieter has always been a big part of the community and many of you might recognise his smiling face or his van whizzing around the place.

“We hope that you can help our dad in slowly starting to rebuild his life, his home, his workshop in the coming months. We would really appreciate anything you can spare. He has literally been left with only the clothes on his back, everything has been burned and destroyed.

“Thank you for taking the time to read about our dad Pieter and hopefully we can help him rebuild the devastating loss.”

Anyone who would like to donate to the ‘Help Pietor Bot rebuild his home & life’ page on GoFundMe can do so by clicking here.

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