Our truck caught fire in the highlands and now we are stuck
Two lucky tourists survived after their van caught fire after the couple had just left the vehicle.
The couple were stranded on the Black Island after the fire that occurred on Friday.
Ellie O’Brien and her friend had traveled from England to visit the small Highland village of Cromarty – after seeing Mrs O’Brien’s father in a care home – when tragedy struck.
After parking next to the beach, near the Royal Hotel, they had just got out of the car when Ms O’Brien’s boyfriend screamed as flames started coming from the front cabin.
Ms O’Brien explained what happened on a GoFundMe page set up after the incident.
“When I got out of the car, my friend screamed and I turned around to see flames engulfing the front cabin,” the message read.
“We ran back and got the dogs out and I jumped in the back to get the fire extinguisher.
“When that was empty, I jumped back in to get the fire blanket out. Neither worked.”
“The truck was filled with thick black smoke and we were fully aware that it contained 3/4 diesel and a gas cylinder. So we moved to safety.
“Apparently 999 was called but given where we were it took a while to get to us. The truck burned for about an hour.
“The fire crew were amazing and so were the paramedics who checked us over for smoke inhalation and shock.
“They believe it was just a freak accident where the engine was off, the switches were out and there were no warning signs or indication as to what caused it.
“The most important thing is that we are safe. We got out and the two dogs got out too. We are very lucky that this did not happen while we were sleeping.”
“However, we were left stranded. The locals were absolutely amazing and rallied around us. But the truck was outside the accommodation and so was our transport.
“It helps that insurance told us last night to stay with the car and they will cover the hotel costs and get us home today.
“We were told today that out of hours insurance is a different agency and our actual insurance will not be.
“They told us they would have sent us home last night instead but not the next day.
“However, as a gesture of goodwill, they have agreed to send us home, but that will not happen until at least Monday.
“They will not be funding any accommodation or transportation in the meantime. We are currently 500 miles from home.
“Hotel accommodation for the next two nights cost £185 and we had to hire a car until Monday due to being in the Highlands, which cost us another £130.
“With the exception of two life bags, our possessions have perished.
“My phone, my laptop, clothes, medications, car keys, house keys, personal items, and even stupid things like hair straighteners and our favorite toy Dobble.
“I’m hoping our insurance will come through, but honestly I don’t hold out a lot of hope. They said they would cover the car but not the property.
“Again, it’s just possessions. Everything is replaceable and I’m so grateful that this isn’t a worst-case scenario.”
“But for anyone who wants to help and is in a position to help in these difficult times, this is the place to do it.
“Any assistance with accommodation and travel costs would be greatly appreciated.
“We have set a target of £400 to cover hotel and travel costs.
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“However, anything else donated will be used to replace our clothes, phones and personal items.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the fundraiser can do so here.
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