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Big hearts help Ricky rebound

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: One Mile resident Ricky Murphy has found support from the Ipswich community and in particular the Leichhardt One Mile Community Centre after his house in Chubb St was destroyed by fire on Monday.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: One Mile resident Ricky Murphy has found support from the Ipswich community and in particular the Leichhardt One Mile Community Centre after his house in Chubb St was destroyed by fire on Monday. Rob Williams

RICKY Murphy lost everything in a house fire, and now the Ipswich community has rallied in its support of the One Mile legend with donations rolling in.

In the early hours of Monday morning the 57-year-old lost his Chubb St home to the blaze.

A 15-year-old girl has been arrested in relation to the incident and will now appear before the Youth Justice Conference.

The QT reported on Tuesday about Ricky's story and how his sister Laverne saved his life.

He was all set to go home hours before the fire, but Laverne convinced him to stay at her house.

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After reading the story Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale went into action and yesterday the Mayor's Community Fund gave Ricky $2000.

Other donations have been received thanks largely to the work of the Leichhardt-One Mile Community Centre.

A sign saying 'Unity in Community. Help for Uncle Ricky' is out the front of the centre.

Community centre volunteer Anne Sexton has made up a flyer and said it had been "delivered to everybody on our mailout list…asking for donations to help Uncle Ricky get back on his feet".

"We've had donations. We've had people ringing and walking in and asking what Uncle Ricky needs," she said.

"We are going to sit down with Aunty Laverne and Uncle Ricky to find out exactly what they want, so when people ask we can tell them.

"We are a drop-off centre and collection point for anything. We have been working with a lady in the community who has put up a Facebook page called 'Get Mr Murphy back on his feet'."

Centre volunteer Kym Tuuta said the community was "here to help and support Ricky and his family so he can get back on his feet, because it is a tragedy".

"We've known Uncle Ricky and the family for a long time," she said.

"When something like this happens to one of our own, we pull together."

Meanwhile Cr Pisasale said he was only too happy to help out.

"The Mayor's Community Fund is money I raise for when people are in trouble," he said.

"Ricky is in trouble. Bang. He's got his money.

"Ricky is a legend. He was there to support Ipswich, and Ipswich is there to support you Ricky."

Ipswich Community Care Fund has given Ricky a Woolworths Gift Card.

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Ricky is a massive Raiders fan and QT photographer Rob Williams has donated two Canberra jerseys.

Ricky's sister Laverne said she was "very pleased with what the Ipswich community is doing at the moment, especially at Leichhardt and One Mile".

"Ricky never harmed anybody and always welcomed everybody into his home," she said.

"It is so sad that it had to end like this, with my brother with no house.

"All his life he worked hard for that, but it is gone…in one night.

"But I thank the Mayor and everybody involved that is helping out."

To help Ricky visit the Leichhardt-One Mile Community Centre in Denman St, Leichhardt or phone 3812 1270.

Topics:  house fires, ricky murphy



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