THE South East community is rallying behind a Mount Burr family who lost everything when a fire gutted their home on Friday afternoon.
The Country Fire Service (CFS) was alerted at 1.19pm to the house fire on Thomas Drive following multiple triple-zero emergency calls.
Wattle Range CFS group officer Fred Stent said crews from Millicent, Mount Burr and Mount McIntyre arrived at the scene to find the home engulfed in flames.
“It was well developed when CFS crews arrived, so it was a matter of containment by the time they got there,” he said.
“It was not completely put out for a number of hours.”
Mr Stent said while the cause of the fire was unknown, there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.
“The cause is not yet known, but it is not deemed totally suspicious,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that it happened and fire investigators could not determine its exact cause because of the intensity of the fire.”
CFS volunteers were required to wear breathing apparatus at the rear of the house due to asbestos and smoke.
Nine members attended the fire and although they were unable to save the home, they were able to protect neighbouring properties.
The homeowner, Katie Alcock, was initially thought to be inside, however she had left the property about 20 minutes earlier and returned to find it alight.
Ms Alcock said herself, her husband Craig and their three children aged between 10 and 16 years were still coming to terms with the situation and were grateful for the community’s support.
“We are not really sure how to process it all at the moment,” she said.
“We are just blown away completely by the community with everything and are just grateful that we still have each other.”
A Go Fund Me page created for the Alcocks had raised almost $9000 by midday yesterday.
The page, set up by a family member, states “sadly members of our community, Craig, Katie and their three children have lost their home due to a severe fire on July 13”.
“A house fire that has resulted in a tragic loss of an entire home and irreplaceable memories.
“We kindly ask for your support to recoup any costs incurred from the devastation.
“Whilst we understand sentimental items can never be replaced, we can try our best to relieve the stress and assist the family to get back on their feet with basic necessities.
“No donation is too small and we thank you for any support you may be able to give.”
A family friend has also set up an account at Fosters Foodland to help the Alcock family purchase essential items.
Fosters Foodland owner Brian Foster said the response and support had been amazing already.
“People have been donating money towards the account and Fosters are giving the Alcocks a 10pc discount on any groceries they buy,” he said.
“All you have to do is drop in, make a donation and it goes towards the family.”
Losses from the fire are estimated to be between $180,000 and $190,000.
The Alcocks are currently staying with family and are still looking for their pet dog Defor, an Australian Terrier missing since the fire.
It was the third house fire in Mount Burr in the space of four months.