Mum Simone Cottee has no doubt a working smoke alarm saved her family when their Warrnambool home went up in flames in the middle of the night last month.
The family lost most of their belongings but Simone, husband Mick and their three sons aged 20, 17, and 12 are thankful they all managed to get out.
She wants something good to come out of their "awful experience" by highlighting the importance of having working smoke alarms.
She said the family had been overwhelmed and humbled by the support they'd received after clubs and groups sprang into action with offers of help, including women's gym Fit after 40 (FAF) which launched a raffle this week to raise money.
"Right now, just knowing that there are people out there offering support, somehow makes this situation a bit easier to deal with," she said. "We are really grateful for our family's community."
Raffle co-organiser Tania Monk said the FAF community's 100 members wanted to do something for the family, and the response had been phenomenal.
More than 50 raffle and auction items have been donated, including a weekend's accommodation package at the Oak and Anchor in Port Fairy, valued at $2000, as well as a number of vouchers from south-west businesses.
"This is everybody's worst nightmare," Ms Monk said.
"I think people have been able to relate to it in some way. If that was you, you'd want all the support you can get. I haven't been surprised (with the response). I've been overwhelmed and so has Simone and Mick and the family.
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"It makes you really proud to live in Warnambool. Simone and Mick are well known in the district too so I think people just wanted to help out as much as they could.
"As long as they've walked away with each other that's the most important thing but this is really going to be able to help to set them up."
Ms Monk said if all raffle tickets were purchased, it would raise $40,000 for the family. And they're also hopeful the raffle would have an added positive effect on the supporting businesses after they were hard-hit during COVID-19.
Tickets can be purchased at the Beach Kiosk, Flying Horse Bar & Brewery, Piccolo Coffee or online at fitafterforty.com.au
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