Cabin blaze guts family
THE fruits of a handyman's labour have gone up in flames with a family left to pick up the pieces.
Chris Tremellen and fiance Kimberley Moyer returned home on Sunday just in time to see the roof of their cabin cave in.
The Greenlands home, which 39-year-old Tremellen had built himself from the ground up, was not insured, nor all of the possessions inside.
"On Saturday we'd been down at the cabin all day building," Mr Tremellen said.
"We were packed up and everything had been disconnected. Next morning we got up, went to McDonalds for breakfast, head home and got a call to say the cabin was on fire and there was nothing we could do about it.
"Got home just in time for the roof to cave in. I had all my stuff down there.
"All my clothes, tools, fridges, freezers, chest of drawers, toilet to go in, shower, shower basin, fittings, plumbing gear, all the electrical gear had been run.
"I'm not exactly sure how it started. The firies said they've got a report to make," he said.
He estimates he lost upwards of $35,000 worth of tools alone.
"I don't even have anything to get things started again.
"All I own now is my ute, the clothes I'm wearing and my ability to make a wage."
The pair, along with Chris' step daughter, had been staying between the cabin and his parents place while work was ongoing.
Kimberley, who splits her time between here and her natural home in Georgia in the United States, lost all hers and her daughters luggage as well.
"Fortunately their passports were in her purse.
"She and I have been pen pals since we were 12-years-old.
"Nothing worked out between us when in our 20's but we sort of don't have time to waste now we're both 39."
Chris' father, Steve, and brother Josh, had spotted smoke coming from the cabin when they were down feeding some of Chris' weaners.
"I might get insurance on the shed. But insurance won't cover anything that's a project and not up to lock up.
"I had an organic farm as well and it all got burnt to the ground."
Chris dabbles in aquaponics and was hoping to make a living off it some time in the near future.
"As just a boost to my wages. It was the means to an end.
"My end game goal would be to get out of working for other people and work for myself."
He has thanked the community for their support, well wishes and donations already. "I have my bouts of clear thinking and then get flooded with thoughts about all the wasted efforts for the last five years."
Former school friend, Wesley Tarbuck, who now lives in Gympie, heard about the bad news and decided to start a gofundmepage.
"He's not the type to bitch and moan and complain about things.
"He just gets in and does it and he's an all around nice guy and life's dealt him a pretty crappy hand," Mr Tarbuck said.
To donate go to www.gofundme.com/chris-tremellen-house-fire-help