HOME DESTROYED: Sandra Thompson with her dog show the only remains from her rental home, which was destroyed by fire on Wednesday morning.
HOME DESTROYED: Sandra Thompson with her dog show the only remains from her rental home, which was destroyed by fire on Wednesday morning. Allan Reinikka

Fire victim rebuilds life

AS fire victim Sandra Thompson started rebuilding her life Thursday, she was left overwhelmed by the kindness shown by the Rockhampton community.

“It's unbelievable how people can care so much for a stranger,” she said.

Mrs Thompson and her son William lost everything on Wednesday when fire destroyed their North Rockhampton rental home.

They didn't even have time to grab a pair of shoes as they rushed from the burning inferno at 12.35am.

Yesterday police said they believed the fire was caused by an electrical fault which started underneath the house.

It's not considered to be suspicious, but investigations are continuing.

On Wednesday afternoon Mrs Thompson, 57, and William, 30, tried to sift through the charred remains of the Macaree Street home to see if there was anything worth salvaging.

Mrs Thompson was pleased to have found a few bundles of old photographs and some tin buckets that she used to love painting on.

She said because the structure was so unstable they had to use a rake to try to find things.

By tomorrow Mrs Thompson, who has been staying with a friend, should be in a new rental home.

Pat O'Driscoll Real Estate had been working to get the pair a new home as soon as possible.

Donations have also been flooding in from across the community such as a washing machine, television, clothes, linen and plates.

Gracemere Traders donated a new bed ensemble and Bunnings Warehouse, Lowes and St Vincent de Pauls have also assisted.

Joyce Mayne and Samsung have already offered to replace Mrs Thompson's newly purchased fridge and Amart All Sports was quick to offer Mrs Thompson and William shoes and socks for free on Wednesday immediately after the fire.

Alma Street Veterinary Hospital gave them the medicine needed for their staffy dog.

Mrs Thompson and William have lived in Rockhampton since 2000, when they moved from Childers. “It's been overwhelming,” Mrs Thompson said yesterday.

“I never thought I would be in this position to get so much attention.”

Mrs Thompson did not have contents insurance, but the home's owners, David and Wendy Millan, had the house insured.

Mrs Millan said all that mattered was everyone was safe and she was pleased to see so many people offering their support to “lovely tenants”.

Friends have started an appeal and donations of any kind can be made by calling 0417 190 463.

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