Update: My husband saw them yesterday and yes, they literally walked away with the car keys and the clothes they left the house in. There are no floors left, no nothing. Mr M has lost his livelihood - he owned the business on the ground floor - but one of his neighbours in a nearby (untouched) warehouse has lent him offices and he has been given a couple of desks and a computer and he is starting again from scratch. They have found accommodation locally and hope to move in this weekend. They urgently need a washing machine, a cooker, utensils, everything in fact....
I have worked out a way to stop being a wuss about the money/cheques that some people on the forum have offered. As my husband pointed out, they have absolutely nothing and his revenue has come to a halt, so the money would come in very useful, even if only to buy hairbrushes etc or the basics. So, if anyone wants to contact me and wishes to send money- I will send them his direct address (he is still receiving business post as it is being redirected to the new temporary offices). That way he gets the cheques directly - bypassing me(!) - and I am sure he would be very grateful.
My husband (a cynical Frenchman!) and I have been overwhelmed by the offers of help on this forum and I would once again, on behalf of the family, like to thank you all.
Nola and Jean-Luc