An architect and his wife watched helplessly as their dream home was reduced to a pile of rubble in the fire that has destroyed a chunk of Stony Stratford’s history.
Dick and Helen Post went out for a short Sunday afternoon walk and returned to find 20 firefighters battling the worst blaze the town has seen for 300 years.
The couple’s historically listed three-storey Tudor house was completely destroyed, and two neighbouring business properties damaged, possibly beyond repair.
They included a funeral parlour..
The only good news from the disaster was that no human lives were lost – and two of the Post family’s pets were saved by a brave passer-by.
Jack Gallagher, 29, broke their front door down and rescued pet dachshund Widget and cat Baggy.
Jack has now become a Facebook hero after the Citizen posted a dramatic picture of him carrying the terrified little dog to safety.
Sadly, another dachshund, Widget’s inseparable pal Wally, is still missing, and the family has put out an urgent appeal to find him.
The couple’s daughter-in-law Maya Post said: “We’re not allowed near the site as it’s still too dangerous. It looks just like those awful photos of houses that were bombed out on World War II.”
American-born Maya and her husband Edd, who are both internationally-known actors who have starred in the West End, were staying with Dick and Helen while preparing to move to New York.
“We were waiting for Edd’s Green Card to come through. But now all our documents, including passports and birth certificates have been lost in the fire,” said Maya.
“It’s nothing compared to what my parents-in-law have lost though. They have nothing, absolutely nothing, left.”
The couple, both passionate about old houses, purchased the property just three months ago. It was crammed with their collection of antiques and family heirlooms.
The family, currently staying in an hotel believe an electrical fault must have sparked the blaze. Fire experts are still investigating but the area is too unsafe to access.
Meanwhile friends of Maya and Edd have organised a GoFundMe page on https://www.gofundme.com/2dgznuqs to help the young couple