Parents' race to evacuate sleeping kids as family home burns
CHARRED guitar shells bring tears to Craig Wilson's eyes as he surveys the fire damage to his family's Meridan Plains home.
He and wife Yvette have relied on the generosity of friends to accommodate their family of four since a fire made their Haslewood Crescent unit unliveable on Sunday night.
Mr Wilson had returned from dropping a mate home about 9pm and noticed a brighter-than-usual glow coming from his half-closed automatic garage door.
The room had been converted into a den of musical equipment, children's toys and items of great sentimental significance.
Smoke detectors started ringing as he ran through the front door, alerting Mrs Wilson who was watching television in the lounge room and waking their children Jaiden, 10 and Sienna, 6, who had gone to bed.
They quickly got their children outside while smoke filled their home at an alarming rate.
Mr Wilson tried to raise the garage door but the automatic function sent it down instead.
"I ran inside, opened the (internal) door, singed my hair and my beard and decided that wasn't the best idea," Mr Wilson said.
Firefighters arrived in time to stop the blaze spreading through the home but smoke and ash had tainted everything.
They have since been told they can't return to live in the home and have been staying at a friend's place.
"We are lost really," Mrs Wilson said.
Mr Wilson said he had been collecting his guitars, drums, microphones and other musical equipment for the past 15 years.
He said the cause of the fire had not been fully determined but burn marks on the walls indicated it may have started in an electrical safety switchbox.
A friend has used social media to call for donations of essential items and the community has responded generously.
But resettling is a lengthy process and the family will need more help.
"We don't like asking for help but we are in a situation where we have no choice," Mr Wilson said.