Family lose home to fire

A HOUSE fire has destroyed a family home in Killawarra.

It is not known at this stage what caused the fire to start on Friday afternoon.

Homeowners Nathan Turner and Letitia Hicks and their three children were not home at the time and neighbours raised the alarm by calling 000 and contactable family.

By the time help arrived the hardiplank house was fully engulfed and could not be saved.

"The house was not visible from the road so it took a little while before anyone saw it," said RFS commander Bob Pope.

"It only takes seven minutes to impact a home and 19 minutes for it be on the ground."

Five RFS units attended the blaze as well as crews from Fire and Rescue NSW.

"The support of the community has been amazing," said Jason Hicks, the brother of Letitia.

The community rallied on the weekend donating clothing and other goods to the family after news of the fire spread.

"They lost everything, all their photos and even the water in the tanks," said Jason.

"It's sad."

Jason spoke with the Chronicle on Monday and said he was trying to organise a fundraiser for his sister's family.

The family have currently been separated as accommodation has been sought with various family members.

"They need something to live in," admitted Jason.

With a working farm with animals Jason said it would be more practical for the family to be able to move back onsite.

"A large caravan or even a big shed might be the answer," he said.

Jason is currently organising for a bank account to be set up for anyone wishing to donate to help the family get back on their feet.

At this stage there is nowhere to store anything so Jason is reluctant to ask for goods to be donated.

However, if some accommodation can be organised then Jason said the family would need the basics like kitchen appliances.

The support so far has been "overwhelming."

"That's country living for you," said Jason, owner of Wingham Mowers.

As Nathan and Letitia work to re-build their home, Bob Pope offers a reminder to homeowners to be cautious with their wood burning stoves.

Although Spring has officially started, there may still be some cold days ahead and Bob said people should be looking at their flues.

"Make sure the doors are locked properly too," he said citing wood burner doors being left ajar as a major cause of house fires.

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