Huge motorbike procession pays farewell to fire victim dad

Hundreds of motorcyclists took to the streets of Exeter yesterday (Saturday) for a spectacular farewell to a much-loved dad who lost his life in one of the worst tragedies to ever strike the city.

Daniel Rudge, 29 died in the fire on Sunday February 21 alongside wife Kaylie Rudge, 28, and their four-year-old daughter, Lillie-Rose Rudge. Kaylie’s seven-year-old daughter from a previous relationship also died.

The tragedy rocked Exeter and the wider area with many struggling to come to terms with how cruel life can be. The deaths resulted in an unprecedented outpouring of grief.

Fundraisers set-up to support the surviving family members raised tens of thousands of pounds with condolences sent from all over Exeter and further afield.

Yesterday saw Daniel’s funeral take place and in his memory, hundreds of motorcyclists joined together to ride as one through Exeter.

The moving tribute was filmed by many and shows a seemingly never-ending stream of bikes moving in convoy. A spectacular video was filmed by Aimee Palmer from her window in Tudor Street.

In a statement issued previously, Daniel’s father and step-mother, said: “Daniel and Kaylie were loving parents and they, and the girls, will be sorely missed.”

Daniel and Kaylie Rudge, who along with four-year-old Lilly, died in the tragic house fire in Exeter
(Image: Damien Parr)

The family clarified that all funds raised through a community fundraising campaign is in the care of a solicitor and will go towards funeral costs. Any money remaining will be put into a trust fund to support the surviving children in the future.

You can donate to the Exeter Fire Appeal on Gofundme here, and share the link on social media

“We are so grateful to the emergency services who attended,” they added: “Special thanks to Demons MC and Satan’s Slaves MC who set up the fundraising campaign for Dan.

“We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and kindness,” they added. “We would like to thank everyone for their support and donations.”

In a statement, Kaylie’s mum, said: “I am grateful for everyone’s concerns and commiserations and it is very touching that the community has left so many flowers and messages of love at the house.”

Kaylie’s mum has expressed thanks to all those who donated to Kaylie’s fundraising campaign.

She added: “I still can’t believe that they’re all gone. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the public’s donations and any money remaining after funeral costs will be donated to the Bristol Hospital Children’s Unit.”

A nine-year-old boy and a four-year-old boy – Lillie-Rose’s twin brother – were later discharged from Bristol Children’s Hospital.

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