A FUNDRAISER has been set up to help a businessman get back on his feet after a devastating fire on November 3 destroyed 25 years of tools and equipment.

John Scott, owner of Sourdust in Stocksfield has been left overwhelmed and emotional by the power of community spirit after a fundraiser was set up by his friend Bryan Johnson to recover what he lost in the blaze.

A week after the incident, the fundraiser is at a total of  £9,035.

John said: "Everything has been a whirlwind since the incident happened and I didn't know about the fundraiser until Bryan sent me a link - I think I must have burst into tears when I saw it.

"Most of the donations have been from other potterers but there have been a lot of names that I don't recognise or know - which makes me appreciate it even more.

"With the money, it will only take a matter of weeks to rebuild everything after we have hired a skip to clear the mess away. Without it, I don't think that I could restart the business.

"I am currently classing myself as unemployed as the Raku shelter was where I could finish orders and sell it to galleries. I have had to pull out of several deals and cancel a commission as I can't finish a creation without it.

"So when I rebuild the shelter, I hope to get back up and running at the start of the New Year. "

A couple of days after the fire, a fire safety inspector wrote a report about the incident, stating there was no evidence to suggest that the fire was not accidental.

It said: "The building was not secure but it was in a secured area at the rear premises. The area of origin is not an area where you would expect a fire to have been started deliberately. A non-accidental cause cannot be fully ruled out.

"The ultimate cause of this fire cannot be established but the most likely cause is an accidental ignition from an outside source possibly a firework or smoldering ignition.

"The wooden structure itself has provided the primary fuel source for the fire to develop and spread to where the propane cylinder exploded."

On the GoFundMe page, Bryan said: "John has made his living for many years through his love of pottery and teaching others. I have attended many of his weekend sessions, teaching the most incredible skills for Raku, amongst so much more.

"Without this studio and equipment, his income will take a huge hit, not to mention the cost of replacing everything he has lost.

"I would love for the great community he has built around him, to be able to support him and give back at his time of need."

To find out more follow this link www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sourdustpottery?utm_term=KN9G8dGDk&fbclid=IwAR3dmUCbFGG81l4NsAWCV89csjohiypUI6JmdYeD5SNmHWMLZXk4o_206pI