Nirranda responds to couple's house fire disaster

DESPITE a house fire destroying everything they own, Nirranda South couple James Brumby and Denise Savage say it’s the support of the tight-knit community which has kept them going.

Late Tuesday afternoon Mr Brumby was about to begin hay baling with his brother Ron, Nirranda South CFA brigade captain, when Ron was paged about a fire in Dances Road.

As soon as he heard the address, Mr Brumby dropped everything and went to their house of 25 years. “When I got there the fire was in the roof, it was everywhere,” he said.

“From what we’ve been told it went up in about three minutes.

“There was nothing they could do.”

Units from five CFA brigades attended the property about 5pm to find the flames had already engulfed the weatherboard house. The cause of the fire is still unclear.

When Mr Brumby, a dairy farmer born and raised in the district, arrived at the house he rescued his dogs from inside but one later ran back and died in the fire.

The couple’s daughter Kate Harrison said the extraordinary response from friends, family and the community had been overwhelming.

“Without everyone’s help they wouldn’t be able to keep going,” she said. “The donations and assistance has made the days since bearable.

“People have been dropping off food, clothes, cash and toiletries.

“The assistance has been immediate.”

Mr Brumby said it was lucky no one was home at the time as Ms Savage often babysits her grandchildren at the house, but on Tuesday was looking after the children at their son’s house. “We’re just fortunate no one was home,” Mr Brumby said.

“It’s gone right through the house.”

Family friend Jim Retallack has already started the clean-up and organised for a skip to be dropped off at the house.

 A caravan has been organised by Bernie and Julie Drake from the Salvation Army.

Ms Harrison said the family would take it one day at a time as they worked through the aftermath. 

“We’re just so grateful for everything that people have done,” she said.

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