Couple overwhelmed by support after house fire
THE victims of a house fire which destroyed nearly all their possessions have thanked the Ipswich community for their support.
Scott and Susan Gardiner woke up at around 10pm Saturday night to find the power out and smoke billowing from an intense inferno in their garage.
Firefighters battled to save the Sandoy Crt home in Bellbird Park, but by the time the flames were extinguished most of their possessions were lost.
The Gardiner's, and their two dogs, escaped the blaze without physical injury.
They returned to the burnt-out home on Sunday morning to sift through the wreckage on their hands and knees, recovering a few prized possessions.
The intensity of the blaze caused the roof to partially collapse.
The Iraq war veteran found his war medals and his slouch hat charred among the rubble.
But lost in the blaze were replicas of Mr Gardiner's grandfather's First World War medals and precious photographs.
The flames destroyed a restored motorbike and car.
Since returning to their home the Gardiner's have been overwhelmed by the support of their neighbours and the Ipswich community.
On Sunday morning neighbours lent a hand scouring for possessions and yesterday Mayor Paul Pisasale launched an appeal for the family.
"When I saw the house going down I thought, 'well that's it, we're on our own now'," Mr Gardiner said.
"It's hard to believe it's (the appeal) happening. That people we don't know would help us out."
Ms Gardiner said the Ipswich community had shone through with generosity.
"This just proves the people of Ipswich are fantastic. That's really why we chose to move here and that's why we'll chose to stay," she said. Cr Pisasale kicked off the appeal by making a $2000 donation.
"At the end of the day we're a defence city and they have lost everything. He is suffering from a stress-related disorder after coming back from Iraq," he said.
"He has done his service and now it's time to help him out."
Donations can be made through the Ipswich Mayor's Community Fund Inc. and referenced Scott Gardiner.
- Bank: Bendigo
- Account Name: Ipswich Mayor's Community Fund Inc.
- BSB: 633-000
- Account: 128672318