Mother's heartache as home reduced to ashes in minutes
STANDING in front of the ashes of her home, Fiona "Fee" Hatch knelt down and cried knowing her memories and sentimental possessions were lost forever.
Despite the immense grief, the Beerwah mother's tears were also in relief that her daughter and nephews escaped the fire which destroyed her home.
"They were my first thought. Everything else is replaceable," Fee said.
On Tuesday afternoon, the house on Llyod St caught alight with Fee's family inside while she was visiting one of her daughters, Nicki-Lee Hatch in Pacific Paradise.
Her two grandsons, 6 and 8, were playing in their bedroom before they ran out to their mother screaming, "mum, there's a fire!"
Within three minutes, Fee's home was gone.
"My sister called in tears and we got straight in the car and headed there," Nicki-Lee said.
"By the time we got there, nothing was left."
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to the scene but the fire took over rapidly. Crews contained the blaze around 5pm.
Fee, a former AIN in aged care for 12 years, was dismissed from her job in August after a workplace injury and had to drop her contents insurance to save money.
There was no time to salvage belongings and Fee lost many sentimental possessions including her mother's ashes, photo albums and documents.
In a tremendous effort to stay strong for her family, Fee was yet to address her loss.
"She's being so strong for us," Nicki-Lee said.
Determined to dig deep for her mum with a "heart of gold", Nicki-Lee put a call out to the Sunshine Coast community for any unwanted goods her mum could use to get back on her feet.
Nicki-Lee was overcome with emotion as she expressed her gratitude to those who helped her mum.
"So far the community has donated clothes for my sister and nephews, knick-knacks, furniture and even a whole bed," she said.
"All these different people have reached out and it makes me so proud to be a part of the Sunshine Coast community."
An "exhausted" Fee, who was stubborn with taking "hand-outs", was blown away with the support.
"There's been a lot of people helping in the background and I am just so grateful," Fee said.
Nicki-Lee also set up a Go Fund Me page to help her mum, sister and nephews with anything they needed, and even some Christmas presents for the boys' gifts lost in the blaze.