• STV
  • MySTV

'It was our home': Couple speak out over observatory blaze

David and Susannah Parnaby lost their home when the Fair Isle observatory went up in flames.

David and Susannah Parnaby are still trying to come to terms with the fire which turned their world upside down.

Five days on and still smouldering, the remains of Fair Isle's world renowned bird observatory have been reduced to ashes.

While the loss of the observatory, which contained irreplaceable handwritten diaries by ornithologist George Waterston has been mourned, the Parnabys and their children have been left homeless following the fire.

Their flat, which adjoined the observatory, was burned to the ground during the inferno.

They have now lost their jobs and all their possessions, but the couple say the community has rallied around them following their devastating loss.

"The support we've received from so many people is really what's helped us to get through the last few days," explained David, who worked as a warden at the observatory.

"The messages, the offers of help, and I know it's been the same down the isle as well.

"It was our home, we raised our children here, but it's also the bird observatory has been here for 70 years."

The blaze was first spotted by the crew of the local ferry as it left the harbour on Sunday evening.

One fire engine raced to the scene on Fair Isle and another crew was flown to the devastating blaze from Shetland by coastguard helicopter.

Two more crews arrived on the island by boat.

The island's fire volunteers fought bravely, but even with extra crews flown in from the Shetland mainland, they were unable to save any of the building.

https://stv.tv/news/highlands-islands/1436247-thousands-raised-for-family-who-lost-home-in-observatory-fire/ | default

Just 55 people live on Fair Isle and its bird observatory has been at the centre of the community for decades.

Now focus has turned to supporting the Parnaby's, with more than £26,000 raised through crowdfunding to support the family as they rebuild their lives.

The family are determined that the building will rise from the ashes again.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.