Family homeless after blaze

Published 1:34pm 14 December 2021

Family homeless after blaze
Words by Jodie Powell

A Caboolture family is desperately searching for a new home before Christmas after their Shell St property was destroyed by fire last Friday.

Renee Saunders says she was woken by the smell of smoke and fire alarms sounding about 11.40pm.

“We don’t know how it started, it just happened so quickly,” she says.

As well as the house, Renee’s car was destroyed, along with the keys to her husband Keith’s car.

“I lost my little dachshund in the fire and our birds, but we managed to save two dogs and two cats,” Renee says.

“It was such as mad rush to get out – everything’s just a blur.”

With nowhere to live, the family is staying at a Caboolture motel but Renee says they hope to find a house as soon as possible.

Renee sustained burns in the blaze and Keith is recovering from smoke inhalation, but their daughter was unharmed.

Road to recovery

Adding to the family’s challenges, son Tommie was at the Royal Women’s Hospital recovering from major jaw alignment surgery when the fire took hold and Renee says a motel is not the ideal location for his continued healing.

“Once we find a house we can start moving on and accepting the things people have offered us,” she says.

“Our neighbours and friends and family have been really good.

“I want to thank everyone who’s helped – the firies, the ambulance, Caboolture Hospital – I can’t thank them enough.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Tommie’s employer JESI to help the family get back on their feet. You can donate here.

Stay up to date with local news here.

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