Community Teams Up To Build New Home For Couple Who Lost House In Freak Fire.

Ten years ago, Melanie and Jeremy Zanni of Galway, Ireland, found the house of their dreams: a 300-year-old thatched cottage in the small town of Glenamaddy.

They moved into their charming new home shortly after, set up a bakery, and started a family. They’ve been happy ever since — that is, until a freak accident changed everything.

cottage before the fire

In March, the Zanni’s cottage burned to the ground when a chimney fire grew out of control. Firefighters eventually put out the flames, but not before the house was completely destroyed. The couple was devastated.

firefighters contain fire


Melanie and Jeremy hadn’t been able to afford insurance, so all the money they put into the house went up in smoke along with it. Their situation seemed pretty hopeless… until their community banded together for an incredible act of kindness.

cottage after the fire

Led by Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice, neighbors, tradesmen, and apprentices teamed up to help the devastated family. Using their various skills, they immediately got to work on rebuilding the two-bedroom cottage.


They all worked day and night to ensure Jeremy, Melanie, and their nine-year-old son, Finn, would have a roof over their heads. After losing everything, now they’ll once again have a place to live thanks to their kind neighbors.

neighbors rebuild house

Heartbroken as they are, the Zannis are also blown away by such generosity in their time of need. “The neighbors are not just neighbors. They are superheroes,” Jeremy said. He aptly calls their new home “The Fartown Phoenix,” because with the help of the community, it has risen from its ashes.

the zannis

“The beauty of this story is that the rebuild is all done by volunteers. Be it neighbors, builders, building suppliers and so on,” Jeremy wrote in a Facebook post. “What’s happening here is a life lesson for the world that if we stick together and help one another there is nothing that can’t be achieved.”

the fartown phoenix

We couldn’t have said it better. Turning a family’s worst nightmare into an example of the power of compassion was the best gift these people could give. Jeremy, Melanie, and Finn will never forget how much their community cares.

Learn more about this selfless initiative in the video below, and share to encourage other good deeds.

Neighbours rally around Galway family after house fire

A French couple whose cottage was destroyed in a fire in Co Galway have moved into a new home built by the local community. | Read more:

Posted by RTÉ News on Thursday, 4 April 2019

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