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.

Track trio involved in major injury scares

Denis Smith

Latest race falls at Albion Park

Artistic vision helps in fight to beat signal box vandals

STUNNER: Local artist Glen Smith won the People's Choice award with his painting of a kookaburra.

People’s Choice award for painting of kookaburra

Judge send ice junkie to cooler

A man who went on a ice-fuelled crime spree has been jailed.

Latest deals and offers

Armed Robbery North Booval

Jarrad Alexander Stanton Deane, 29, was jailed for seven years for more than 40...

Fatality Free Friday urges motorists to take the pledge

A 31-year-old man is due to front court in custody today charged with stealing five motorbikes from various locations in the past few months.

As part of Fatality Free Friday today, police are pleading with motorists to take...

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked