Appeal for young London cellist left homeless by fire

Appeal for young London cellist left homeless by fire


norman lebrecht

January 06, 2022

Yurie Lee, a Britten Pears Young Artist, has been left homeless and impoverished by a neighbour’s home fire in Finchley.

She writes:

Watching my neighbour who I had known for 20 years, go down in the flames with the rest of his house and knowing that there was nothing we could do to save him, was truly devastating.

Running out of my own home with my two cellos on my back and a bag which happened to contain some essentials, whilst screaming at my family to get out, was terrifying.

Even as the first caller, the seven minute wait for the Fire Brigade and Emergency Services to arrive, felt like hours and was utter agony.

And never in my life did I think I would end up homeless, especially in a pandemic and in the run up to the festive season. I am so grateful that my family home did not burn down but it suffered enough damage to become uninhabitable. Since then, we have been in and out of hotels, living out of suitcases. We are physically, mentally and emotionally drained. Some days are worse than others. Just when we thought we would be able to move into a longer term accommodation in the new year, things fell through and yet again we will be living out of our suitcases for at least a month.

The insurance company will be covering the costs of the accommodations but unfortunately that is as far as it goes. In these last few weeks we have had to spend an incredible amount of money on takeout food as we haven’t had any catering facilities, many laundry trips (All of our clothes and belongings smell of smoke), storage (We’ve had to move most of our stuff out), transportation and many more extra expenses that have come out from the result of this awful incident. Least of all, the days off work to deal with this situation.

Had it not been for the incredible amount of love and support from so many people, I would not be as “ok” as I am now. I am truly grateful for those people in my life.

Creating this gofundme page was definitely a last resort and I am not entirely comfortable with it. But I am doing this for my parents and the torment they are going through. At this stage in their lives, they should not have to be thrown out of their beloved home and have to deal with this mess.

So I would really appreciate it if you could share this snippet of story and possibly donate if you can.

You can donate here.


  • henry williams says:

    iam sure the insurance company should
    pay and arrange accomodation. why are
    they waiting so long.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      And you obviously have had access to the insurance policy in question.

      • henry williams says:

        it depends which company
        one is insured with.

        • V.Lind says:

          Pretty cold response to a family in distress. I guess Christmas is over. £20 would be more helpful than this carping about what insurers “should” do.

          I was burned out of my home a dozen years ago, and the first response of people I knew was to offer me a bit of money. I had been provided shelter, but there were more unpredictable expenses than I would have imagined. The generosity of colleagues and friends, whom I never asked for a thing, was heart-warming as well as practical, and saw me through a rough few weeks. I can imagine what it has cost this young man to make this plea, and I for one will respond to it.