News

Sister's wise words save Ricky from house fire

AFTERMATH: House fire victim Ricky Murphy with his niece Letissa Murphy (left) and sister Laverne Murphy.
AFTERMATH: House fire victim Ricky Murphy with his niece Letissa Murphy (left) and sister Laverne Murphy. David Nielsen

OUT of devastating loss came a story of soaring human spirit in One Mile yesterday.

Ricky Murphy, 57, lost everything he owned in a house fire but he was thanking his sister Laverne for some timely advice that saved his life just hours before the blaze erupted in the early hours of Monday morning.

Ricky lost his lifelong partner Clara two years ago and has been unwell since.

Most nights he spends at Laverne's place nearby in Leichhardt, before walking back to his home during the day.

On Sunday night Ricky had his bag packed…but then Laverne spoke the words that saved her brother's life.

"Ricky said to me, 'I'm going home'," Laverne told the QT.

"I let him go home during the day…to his memories. He says, 'I've got to go home because Clara is waiting for me'.

"But I said something to him last night that I've never said before. I said: 'You are not going home tonight brother. It is too dark. I'll take you home tomorrow. If you walk out this door I will call Police Beat and get them to pick you up'."

"Then he sat back down."

Laverne received a call at the front door after midnight from an Aboriginal family that lives a few doors down from Ricky's home in Chubb St.

"I was in bed and they were singing out, 'Aunty Laverne. Aunty Laverne, you've got to come. Uncle Ricky's house is on fire'."

Laverne rang family who all came down to see the devastation.

Laverne said "the main thing" was that no-one was harmed in the blaze. A relative lives in the house but was away when the fire engulfed the insured property.

It was obvious yesterday that Ricky is a much loved and respected figure in the community.

"Ricky worked at Steggles all his life," Laverne said.

"He bought that house, and his partner of 38 years passed away in that house two years ago.

"My brother…he was so upset this morning. I said to him, 'All of your memories you keep in your heart, not in that house'.

MAKING NEWS IN IPSWICH ...

Teen Jet survives crusher tackle that fractured vertebrae

Happy couple prepares to celebrate 65 years since wedding

Fire ignites city's spirit

Resident's jaw broken in attack before jewellery stolen

Female-friendly mechanics get thumbs up from fans

"Since Clara passed away, he hasn't been the same.

"He's been grieving for her.

"He got a bit sick when she passed away and had a few seizures

"I live up in Leichhardt and five or six days of the week he is at my house.

"Ricky has been at my place for the last few months because I lost my partner (Michael) in March.

"I don't leave him down there too long because he is on medication and he doesn't take it when he is on his own.

"He just goes back into a depression when he goes down there."

Fire investigators were trying to determine the cause of the blaze yesterday

Ricky's family was rallying around him when the QT spoke to Laverne.

Ricky was too devastated to do an extended interview.

But as he stood next to his sister he acknowledged how her advice had saved him.

"Only for my sister…otherwise I wouldn't be here," he said.

Topics:  house fires




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Women’s footballers with Tigers spirit

Players in the Norths Tigers open rugby league women’s side are forming a strong bond.

Female players hitting as hard as the men

Greyhound trainer brought possums to use as live bait

Michael John Chapman at Ipswich Courthouse.

Greyhound trainer escapes jail time for his role in live baiting

LETTERS: Libs have a strong record in Ipswich

Election, vote, poll booth, Voters at Newtown State School. Council Election 2016, March 19,

Maybe we're not such a Labor town after all?

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Hey Mumma Exercise

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"