Community heart shines after house fire

A FLORA Hill family who lost everything in a fire just before Christmas have begun sorting through donations from the community after their "devastating" loss. 

Mother-of-two Heather Stinton returned home from picking up her daughter to find the house burnt to the ground on December 20. 

The house on Houlahan Street, where Ms Stinton lived with her partner Simon Murray and two daughters, was not insured.

Mel Hutcheson has co-ordinated donations for the family of four and said it was heartwarming to see such support.

"There's been big support from Kennington Primary School and lots of support from the community," she said. 

"The family is sorting through the wonderful donations are in the process to find a house to live in. 

"They still need the big things, like a washing machine, fridge and a couch."

Friend Nicole Scanlan said the family was living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, "struggling to make ends meet". 

The fire, believed to be started by Christmas lights, also killed the family's three pets. 

"The neighbour recently told Heather that she heard her dog barking during the fire, which is something you never want to hear," Ms Scanlan said. 

"It's awful and this family have always done it tough. 

"It's not fair."

Ms Scanlan is calling on the community to keep pledging support for the family to help them pick up the pieces. 

"I would like to raise enough money to get them their rental bond and some money to start over," she said. 

"I have been talking to Heather regularly and she is so devastated."

Ms Scanlan can be reached on 0426 238 158.

Fire investigators said it took 15 minutes, 12 firefighters and three trucks to get the fire under control.  

It's just not fair. - Nicole Scanlan

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