Family left with nothing after Stanthorpe fire
WHEN Stanthorpe woman Melissa Collins looked up from a work break and saw smoke in the distance, she never thought it would be the house of someone she knew.
But a drive to the site brought a horrible reality the property being gutted by fire belonged to a close friend of her daughters.
"I just saw what house it was and I went, 'oh no'," she said.
"I stood there, helpless, watching it burn."
The blaze erupted yesterday afternoon at 17 Hillcrest St where a woman and her two daughters, aged 14 and 8, lived.
Investigations into what caused the fire are still ongoing.
But Ms Collins said the inferno had "gutted" the house, leaving the girls with only the clothes on their backs.
"I'm just happy they weren't at the house, (the mother) was at work and the girls at school but other than that, everything is gone," she said.
"I'm pretty sure they lost everything. Nothing could be saved."
Ms Collins had already been flooded with messages of aid and donations.
"It's has been overwhelming. We even had someone offer them a place to rent," she said.
"Stanthorpe really has come together and it shows the outpouring of kindness this place has. "People will give what they can to help people get on their feet as soon as possible."
Ms Collins was looking for aid of all kinds to help the family rebuild.
"It will be good for the girls to have a bit of an uplift," she said.
"I know they're hurting but once they realise how much the town has pulled together, they'll have a new lease on life."
Donations can be dropped off at 94 Lock St or by Facebook messaging Ms Collins.