A PREGNANT couple from Arborfield have described the “nightmare” they have been facing since a fire ripped through their home last week.

Ashley Allen, 34, and his partner lived in the block of flats in Milliard Place, Arborfield, where firefighters tackled the blaze last Thursday (April 15).

Ashley explained “it was a really busy day at work” and he decided to go to the balcony for a break.

As he stood on the balcony, he said: “I could hear a crackling.

“The roof was on fire.”

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He ran into the house to get his partner out of the building safely before “banging” on the doors of neighbours shouting “fire”.

“Within eight minutes the entire roof had caught fire”, he explained, with everything they owned inside.

The fire last week

The fire last week

Ashley’s partner is five months pregnant, and Ashley said they had just been given baby clothes and gifts from their families.

However, it is not just material things Ashley and his partner have lost.

Ashley explained: “The thing that I’m the most gutted about is our baby scan pictures.”

The couple had a wooden engraved frame with their baby scans inside.

“That’s the thing that’s really devastating”, he said.

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He added: “All of our memories together are all in that flat.

“It’s just been a nightmare.”

The pair have since moved into another flat which is in a nearby apartment block.

Ashley said: “We get to walk out of our door every day and see the building that has burnt down with all of our belongings in it.”

A fundraiser has been set up by Ashley’s sister Charlotte Dodd to help the couple get back on their feet.

So far, £1,165 has been raised out of the £3,000 target.

Speaking about her brother, Charlotte said: “They are so desperate they need to have a bit of luck on their side.”

Ashley said: “The generosity that has been displayed has warmed our hearts.”

He said the fundraiser will help them to replaces some of the things they have lost with the “majority of it going towards the baby”.

He also revealed how the community has come together during the tough times.

He said: “The sense of community has really come together.

“Since the tragedy has happened all of the residents that were in our block of flats have really come together to support one another.”

Click here to donate.