A mum and five kids that escaped a devastating house fire at St Clair have thanked the community for their support as they try and rebuild their lives.
Mum Sharon McKeown and her five children – Brodie, aged just five months, Oliviyah (16 months), Angel (3), Caleb (4) and Kieraleigh (5) – escaped uninjured from the blaze that began at their Farmer Place home about 6pm on November 10.
Ms McKeown told reporters she was “just trying to remember how many kids were in the house, how many to get out” when she heard smoke alarms go off and managed to get all of her children to safety as the blaze tore through the home.
She rushed back into the burning building several times to get the children to safety.
“I had to go back in a few times,” she told Seven News.
Police stated the house sustained major damage in the incident, and that the fire is believed to have started in a bedroom.
“The cause of the fire is believed to have started in the front bedroom. Initial inquiries suggest it is not suspicious,” police stated.
Jennifer Harrison of My Kids Market (MKM) saw the story on the news and knew she had to help out.
“While watching [the news] on Saturady night … at that moment I knew that MKM could help this family,” she said. “[After] many messages back and forth to family members to arrange a pick up our generous stallholders donated a huge pile of pre-loved clothing, toys, blankets and other nursery items for the children and at the end of the market on Sunday.
“When dad Gary arrived to collect the donations he was completely overwhelmed by the amount of goods that his family were about to receive from total strangers and MKM were delighted to be able to make this possible.”
More than $1,800 has been raised by a gofundme campaign started to support the family at https://www.gofundme.com/4ou415c.
Dannielle Macdonald, sister of the childrens’ father, started the campaign and thanked those who had already donated.
“They have lost absolutely everything,” she said on the page.
“The generosity of this community is beyond amazing, thank you to every who had taken time out of their day to bring around toys and clothes for the children it is greatly, greatly appreciated! [The] children are beyond happy to have these gorgeous toys to play with.
“And a massive big thanks to St Clair Woolworths for bring around food, drinks and all of the babies necessities.
“We are amazed and overwhelmed, thankyou thankyou thankyou! [sic]”