"We had to watch as our dreams burned in front of us" - Shocking pictures as Leeds couple lose everything in devastating van fire at festival

Lucy Neal, 33 and her partner of six years Charlie Marshall, 37
Lucy Neal, 33 and her partner of six years Charlie Marshall, 37
Have your say

A couple from Leeds who travel the world watched as their whole life burned and exploded before their eyes in a devastating van fire.

Lucy Neal, 33, and her partner of six years Charlie Marshall, 37, were at CarFest North in Cheshire on July 25th on Lucy's 33rd birthday.

Van damage

Van damage

While in the van which they had refurbished to travel the country in, Charlie believed something was wrong with the gas and when he went to check, it ignited - causing burns to his body.

After Charlie ran out from the van to see Lucy waiting outside, the couple desperately sprinted across the festival fields before turning to see the van explode - destroying over £25k of their possessions including all of their work equipment and sentimental items.

Lucy said: "It was devastating.

"Everyone just shouted 'run!'

Van damage

Van damage

"When we got to the other side of the field, the van blew up.

"We had to watch as our dreams burned in front of us."

Lucy and Charlie, a tattoo artist, had travelled the world for the last seven years.

However, they were ready to settle back in the UK after arriving home in Leeds in late May.

Van damage

Van damage

Lucy said: "We got back in Leeds at the end of May.

"The plan was to work the festivals all summer and then settle down.

"This has all fallen down now."

The couple have now been left to 'rebuild their lives' after losing everything due to the astonishing damage to the van - which was completely burned out in the fire.

Van damage

Van damage

Lucy added: "The van exploded and a car at either side were written off due to the damage too.

"We have to rebuild from scratch, we lost all of our clothes, our work equipment, everything."

Thankfully, Charlie did not have to attend hospital following burns he suffered in the fire and the couple have returned to live with family in Leeds.

Lucy said she has received a lot of help from the community who have come together since the shocking fire.

She said: "The Red Cross helped so much at the festival.

"The festival put us up in temporary accommodation and other festivals have offered to get me transport so I can attend to work and earn my living.

"I am so humbled by the help and support so many people have shown us.

"It has been overwhelming,"

One of Lucy's friends - Victoria - set up a crowdfunding page after a suggestion by her son Seb.

Around £2k of the target of £15k has been donated so far.

Click here to visit the page to donate.
Lucy, who is passionate about Yoga, attends Yoga Kula in Leeds, who are also supporting the cause by allowing people to donate yoga equipment and clothes to replace the lost items.

These can be dropped off at Yoga Kula, 114 Harrogate Road.

Angela Sykes, Founder of Yoga Kula Leeds, said: “Yoga is about more than the practices we do on the mat. Yoga is about community and helping others.

"We are saddened that Lucy has lost her possessions in a fire. We started to think about what we could do to help.

"We reached out to our community to ask them to bring in a piece of yoga wear - something they love rather than something they no longer want or need.

"This act of giving and supporting others in their time of need is the most powerful thing we can do and the deepest form of yoga."