Community rallies for family who lost everything in fire
AS KATHERINE Reeves raced home on Monday morning after learning of a fire on her property in Millmerran Woods, her mind was in overdrive.
She was hoping her animals were okay.
She was hoping firefighters would be able to save the house.
She was hoping for something - anything.
But upon arrival, the house that was a home to her and her husband Paul, her two granddaughters, and her best friend of 40 years, was burned to the ground.
An hour earlier she had been at a second hand shop in Millmerran looking for winter clothes for her family.
Now she stood there, in total shock, as the firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.
They had just spent six months building it, bit by bit.
Everything was gone.
Generators, fridges and freezers full of food, the TV for the grandkids, the car, possessions, photos of the kids, all of the little things that made up their life had gone in the space of a morning.
"And I was so upset when I got there I saw (the firefighters) and I said 'my animals, my animals', and they said they're gone," she sobbed.
"And I said no and I was screaming and I was so upset."
Later, they walked around the property to inspect the little that remained.
"It was just terrible, I just couldn't handle it anymore," she said.
"I sat in the car and I just couldn't feel anything, you just don't feel anything at that moment.
"People will be talking to you and you just block it out, you don't hear what people were saying."
Yesterday, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said the blaze was undetermined, and police are not treating it as suspicious.
The couple returned to their property yesterday to see whether their two dogs, Patchy and Wendy, and their two cats Happy and Fluffy, had escaped the fire.
But they couldn't find them.
Thankfully, the community has already swung into gear to help.
Mrs Reeves' daughter Amy-Rose Goodey has started a GoFundMe account to raise money to help rebuild the home.
And Mrs Reeves said the school had provided uniforms for her granddaughters, and the congregation of her church had put them up in a motel while they figure out what they're going to do.
And she is so grateful to her family for their support and to everyone who has opened their hearts to help, pointing to random acts of kindness like the man in the middle of Millmerran's main street who gave $100 to her husband after hearing of the news.
"Oh my God, you know, what a wonderful man, what a good man," she said.
She returned to the op shop where she first watched the fire engine race past on Monday morning, wondering where it was headed, to pay for the clothes she was looking at.
"And they said no, you have (them)," she said.
"I've been a real mess, but I'm not giving up on myself and I'm going forward and I'm just trusting that there's always good that happens when bad things happen.
"Good things will show themselves.
"You gotta have faith."
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