Soldier's ashes saved from East Sussex fire

The ashes and medals of the 100th British serviceman to die in Afghanistan were rescued from a fire at his family's East Sussex home.

The blaze badly damaged the home of Pte Daniel Gamble, 22, in Uckfield, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Helmand province in June.

No-one was injured but Pte Gamble's mother asked firefighters to enter the house to save the ashes and medals.

Watch commander Bob Beard said they had been handed over to the family.

The eight firefighters who entered the house in Piltdown Rise wearing breathing apparatus also saved pictures of Pte Gamble.

Cmdr Beard said crews were called to reports of a shed on fire on Tuesday afternoon, but on arrival they found it had spread to the adjoining property.

Building inspectors have declared the house safe however the family, who were initially cared for by the Red Cross, have not been able to return.

Image caption Pte Gamble, from Uckfield, went to Afghanistan as a linguist

Pte Gamble's mother, Georgina, praised the fire crews who recovered the personal items.

"They went upstairs and they looked through all the rubble, everything that had come down - they looked through all of that and found it for me," she said.

Pte Gamble, of the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, died alongside two comrades on a routine patrol.

Paying tribute after his death, his parents, Paul and Georgina, said their son died doing a job he was proud of.

"He was special to his family and friends - a true hero in every sense, he will be missed by so many people more than he would ever know," they said.

Following the fire, members of Uckfield Community set up a public appeal to offer assistance to the family.

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