Survivors strong together

DESTROYED: The empty shell left behind after the Junction Hotel blaze. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

DESTROYED: The empty shell left behind after the Junction Hotel blaze. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

Hotel blaze leaves couple homeless

THE owners of the historic Junction Hotel say they will "survive as they always have", after losing everything in a fire this week. 

A blaze tore through Coby and Joe Jansen's Ravenswood property on Monday night, where they had lived for more than nine years. 

The couple was staying at Moama at the time of the fire and had planned to spend Tuesday fishing. 

But instead, they were setting up a temporary life in emergency accommodation.

"I survived breast cancer and Joe survived a heart-attack and we will survive this too," Mrs Jansen said. 

"We look at the situation and say, what can you do about it?

"All the photos are gone and you can't replace them, but we have the memories. We have each other."

Fire investigators attended the scene on Tuesday to determine the cause of the blaze, which ignited at about 9.30pm on Monday. 

It took several crews more than three hours to control the blaze.

Mrs Jansen said she had heard the news from her son, who lives elsewhere and rushed to stop the blaze upon hearing of the fire. 

I survived breast cancer and Joe survived a heart-attack and we will survive this too. - Coby Jansen

"I had a call from my son - someone had emailed him to tell him the pub was on fire - and he raced to see what was going on," she said. 

"I had my friend call me too, she said, 'the pub is gone, it's gone'. 

"I just said 'oh'. That was about it."

The couple operated the pub up until January last year, when they "had enough" and put the historic property on the market. 

She said it was lucky they had insurance to cover the loss. 

"We had taken the property off the market and now realise it's so important to have insurance, especially if you live in the bush."

She was unclear on what had started the fire. 

Friend Val Pilcher said the Jansens had hung up the phone in shock after hearing the historic property had been destroyed by fire. 

"We were driving past and saw the fire. I called Coby and when I told her what had happened, she just hung up immediately," Ms Pilcher said. 

"I rang her back after half an hour - it's just so much for them to deal with."

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