Mother-of-five Gabby
Mother-of-five Gabby

Fire destroys family home

A SINGLE mother with five young children, one with a disability, has been left devastated after her house was ravaged by fire yesterday morning.

About 9.30am a fire, believed to have started from a child playing with matches, ignited in a bedroom and quickly engulfed the house on Jalibah Avenue Tweed Heads, destroying everything, from furniture to Christmas presents.

Mother-of-five Gabby, who preferred not to have her surname printed, said she was so thankful her children, aged from 12 weeks to seven years old, were out of the house when the fire started.

“Everyone was in the car because we were going to a kid’s birthday party,” Gabby said.

“The kids were devastated.

“They didn’t know what was happening, they just heard the windows smashing as the fire went through it.

“They were in the car just screaming,” she said, fighting back tears.

Gabby was yesterday comforted by the support she has already received from family, friends and charity organisations.

“If I didn’t have those guys here today I would be sitting here with five kids wondering what to do.

“We only moved in a week ago and last Saturday night we had a great time setting up the Christmas decorations, now they don’t even have a Christmas tree.”

Gabby and the kids have very short-term accommodation with family and friends but she is desperately searching for something permanent.

If you can help out with a rental property call Sandy Rogers from Save the Children on 0415 801 947.

Tweed Heads Fire station officer Martin Maher said the fire’s cause is still being investigated.

“One possibility was children playing with matches,” Mr Maher said.

“They tried to fight the fire themselves and the fire got too big for them.”

Senior firefighter Richard Fraser it took 15 minutes for fire crews to bring the blaze under control.

“When we arrived the place was fully enveloped in fire,” Mr Fraser said.

“Crews made entry through the front door and progressively attacked the fire from the front to the rear of the house, with crews wearing breathing apparatus.

“It doesn’t look like there’s much for the owner to salvage but if we’d got here any later it would have been burnt down to the stumps.”

Tweed Heads and Banora Point fire crews, Tweed Hazmat, Tweed Police and Kingscliff Ambulances attended the house fire.

Kingscliff ambulance paramedics treated one male with minor smoke inhalation on the scene.

How to help.

This young family has lost everything. Donations of furniture, second-hand clothes, Christmas gifts and everything in between are welcome.

Items can be dropped off at the Salvation Army Centre, Save the Children, Tweed Early Intervention, Coolangatta State School and Geoff Provest’s office.

For more information call Sandy Rogers on 0415 801 947.

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