THE Korumburra community has rallied around the family who lost their home to a fire on Tuesday, November 19, just weeks out from Christmas.
Since then, the family’s been inundated with donations, including clothes and other necessities.
At one point, they had eight microwaves willing to be donated.
Shortly after 8am on Tuesday, Jacinta Reeves, who lived at the house, noticed that it had begun getting hot, and quickly realised that there was a fire in the house.
The family say the fire started in the front bedroom of the house, possibly due to an electrical fault.
Jacinta and single mother Pamela Presage began getting her three young children, aged two, eight and ten, out of the house, and called for emergency services.
They were taken to hospital and the children were cleared straight away, while Pamela was kept in a while longer to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Pamela’s daughter Rhiannon, who now lives in Churchill, said that she got a phone call telling her what happened, and she headed straight to Korumburra to try and help her family.
“They got out of the house with literally the clothes on their backs,” Rhiannon said.
The house was a rental property and the family did not have contents insurance.
Family friends in Korumburra and Leongatha got to work finding Pamela and her children somewhere to stay and getting some of the essentials together for when they find a new house to move into.
Mel Allman has been organising the donations in Korumburra and has been overwhelmed by the support from locals and Korumburra businesses.
“That’s the great thing about living in a small town, when there is a crisis, we all do whatever we can to help out and make sure everyone is alright.”
Mel says they have received enough clothes for the family, and someone has even donated a whole house of furniture.
Mel and Rhiannon say that the best way to help them get back on their feet now is by donating to the GoFundMe page that has been set up. Search for ‘House fire devastates Korumburra family’.
The family praised the actions of staff from Korumburra Primary School, which the children attend, saying that the principal and a social worker came down to the scene to offer their support.
The school has also donated new uniforms to the children, and the school community has given them some second-hand uniforms as well.
“The most important thing for us right now is to get mum and the kids back together and under the same roof, with all of the things they need,” Rhiannon said.
“Mum wanted me to say that she is extremely grateful for all the help and donations and kind words she has been given these last couple days, it’s been a really tough time, but everyone has been amazing.”
A fundraiser event is in the process of being organised to raise further funds. Details will be put up on the ‘Korumburra Community Noticeboard’ Facebook page.
Mel says anyone with donations can contact her on 0403 277 362.
Community backs Korumburra blaze victims