DESTROYED: Kristy O’Reilly with two of her children, Jesse McColm, four, and Tylan Ash, nine, outside their home.
DESTROYED: Kristy O’Reilly with two of her children, Jesse McColm, four, and Tylan Ash, nine, outside their home. Sarah Harvey

Mother and children attempt to rebuild for a second time

THE mother of three children left without a single possession is in desperate need of help from the community as she attempts to rebuild her life for a second time.

Fire ripped through the Chalk St home of Kristy O'Reilly after one of her sons got hold of a lighter, setting alight a mattress.

They escaped unharmed, but Ms O'Reilly lost everything in the 2011 floods when waters rose to the light switches of the North Booval home.

The only possessions she salvaged from the disaster were three pictures of her children - which were destroyed in Monday's blaze.

"We're wearing everyone else's clothes at the moment," she said.

"I wasn't expecting to go through losing all my stuff again."

She moved into the Leichhardt home six months after the floods and was finally beginning to feel at home again.

"We were only just trying to settle down from that. I only got to save three of my kid's photos and now I don't have them."

"I was just starting to feel normal and now I'll have to do it all again."

Ms O'Reilly said any help from the community to get their lives back on track would be greatly appreciated.

Mayor Paul Pisasale made an immediate donation of $2000 from the Mayor's Community Fund along with a $500 IGA voucher for groceries.

"When I first heard about the fire, my immediate thoughts were with the family. This has been another lucky escape and it is good to know they are safe and well," he said.

Ipswich City Council is also working with local charities and support services to make sure the family is offered further assistance such as clothing and essential household goods.

Charity The Gate One Chance arrived at the house yesterday afternoon to donate a hamper of food and some clothes to the family.

Anyone wishing to donate goods to Ms O'Reilly and her family call the QT on 3817 1740.



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