UPDATE 9.15pm: Family and friends are rallying to support a family who lost everything in a house fire in Kangaroo Flat today.
Niece Brooke Ann Smith said she was overwhelmed with the support after she put out a call via Facebook for basic necessities for the family.
“Word can’t express how grateful with I am with how generous the Bendigo community has been when we have reached out to them,’’ she said.
Brooke said the family was in need of immediate items including toiletries, underwear, shoes, socks and clothing. Sizes needed include: ladies size 16; ladies size 8-12, girls size 12; boy size 4 and male sizes medium to large, and XXL.
She was also hopeful someone might have items they no longer need, which could help keep the 12, 9, and three-year-old children occupied during a difficult time.
“We have had some lovely offers of beds, but they can’t store anything just at the minute,’’ Brooke said.
The 12 and nine-year-old girls also need school uniforms and items for Kangaroo Flat Primary School
Anyone with offers of assistance can contact Brooke Ann Stokes via Facebook messenger.
UPDATE 8.45pm: One of the occupants of a house gutted by fire this afternoon says he is grateful his family members are all okay.
Zane Priest Lakey, who also captured photos as he watched flames destroy his family belongings, says his family is remaining positive despite their circumstances, and people should treasure those in their lives.
Zane, 19, was living in the house with his mother, stepfather, siblings aged 11, 9 and 3 and his 18-year-old cousin. A family friend was also staying at the time of the fire.
“Cherish what you have, it can all be gone in an instant,’’ he said.
“I’m just thankful no one was hurt.
“Everyone is safe and that's all that matters – the house is important but now we get to start a new chapter in life.’’
Zane said he was also grateful for offers of help.
“We have had an abundance of people offering help,’’ he said.
“I'm truly amazed and so thankful to the amount of people offering to help It makes me believe in humanity and people just a little easier.’’
UPDATE 5.30pm: Accommodation is being organised for the occupants of a home gutted by fire this afternoon in Kangaroo Flat.
Six fire trucks converged on the house in Thomas St just before 4pm.
Witness Bernard Baker told the Bendigo Advertiser he saw a small amount of smoke from his house around the corner.
The fire accelerated so rapidly that by the time he drove around the corner thick smoke was coming out of the house.
Most of the building sustained damage and now lacked a roof.
Victoria Police Acting Sergeant Lee Clayton said eight people were in the house when the fire started. All escaped.
"Some are being treated for very, very minor smoke inhalation," he said.
The cause remained unknown but was not being treated as suspicious.
EARLIER: Emergency services are responding to a house fire in Kangaroo Flat.
Six CFA vehicles are on scene in Thomas Street.
It is believed the fire started in the kitchen. Police are directing traffic at the scene.
A large section of the house's roof is gone. pic.twitter.com/e2kvgTSgSA— Tom O'Callaghan (@TomBendigo) August 8, 2017
More to come.