A HEARTWARMING yet also heartbreaking story of friendship has emerged following the loss of Roadvale resident Maureen McCann's home to fire last week.
Boonah's Christine Maroni, an equine Bowen therapist, is helping Ms McCann get back on her feet after she lost everything in the blaze.
Ms Maroni is also a professional photographer who took the pictures that appear on this page. She met Ms McCann a couple of years ago when she was asked to do Bowen therapy on her horses.
Their common interest in horses and endurance riding meant their paths crossed frequently.
"I have a very fond memory of Maureen when I was doing a 40km endurance ride on my mare," Ms Maroni recalls.
"These rides are long distance and it takes many kind volunteers manning the check points so that the welfare of the horse and rider is maintained.
"Some (volunteers) are out in the cold, wet, or blistering heat for hours.
"They check the rider numbers off as we come in and they have water for our horses. By the time we reach some of the check points we are exhausted and it's often these volunteers that spur us on.
"On one occasion Maureen and her friend Jeanette were manning the 20km check point.
"My mare had pulled (on the reins) all the way and had left my hands blistered and raw.
"At this stage I still didn't know Maureen very well. She astounded me by offering me her own riding gloves that were in her car. I could not have finished the ride without her generosity.
"My horse still pulled but my hands didn't hurt as much.
"When I took these (fire aftermath) photos the other day Maureen showed me her handbag, a burnt mangled mess.
"She looked at me and said, 'The gloves you gave me were in it'. I had purchased a nice pair of leather riding gloves for Maureen in return for her generosity. Now she has lost this gift I gave back to her. Maureen has also lost her saddles and horse gear. It's very sad."