Mike Pye outside the burnt Golden Shores house which he shared with Rose Coy.
Mike Pye outside the burnt Golden Shores house which he shared with Rose Coy. Alistair Brightman

Home lost in blaze

LOOKING at the shell of his former home from behind the wire fencing and police tape, Mike Pye can’t help but feel sad.

All the possessions the house once held, all the memories, the life he and Rose Coy used to have literally went up in flames when their fridge caught fire last week.

The blaze began inside the five-year-old fridge about 9.30am on Wednesday and quickly engulfed the entire house at Hervey Bay’s Golden Shores Retirement Village, leaving no room untouched.

Insurance assessors have since visited and forensic investigators will arrive at the scene today but in the meantime the property remains cordoned off, everything inside either destroyed or blackened in the flames and smoke.

For Ms Coy, the reality of losing it all is yet to sink in.

But her companion Mr Pye, who was hospitalised with smoke inhalation after trying to battle the blaze, says he is coping.

“I’m probably coping with it better than Rose,” Mr Pye said yesterday, when he returned to the scene.

“You should’ve seen the TV. The heat must have been fantastic; it just melted,” he said.

“As you see, everything is black.

“It’s completely black inside, you walk in and there’s glass and metal.

“But it could’ve been a lot worse.”

Both Mr Pye, 73, and Ms Coy, 76, know they are lucky to be alive.

Diabetic Ms Coy lost all her medication, her late husband’s antiques and almost everything in her purse, which became “fused together” in the heat.

He lost everything, including his prized miniature train sets and his wallet with all his ID and bank cards.

But the tight-knit Golden Shores community has quickly rallied to help the pair, offering temporary accommodation and donating clothing, shoes, sheets, towels and toiletries.

“Everyone’s been absolutely marvellous,” Ms Coy said.

“I cannot say enough about Golden Shores and the management.

“We’ve had lots of offers from people to come down and spend the night. You’d be amazed.”

Millers clothing store has donated $100 worth of clothing to Ms Coy and one dedicated female friend has been washing all her clothes.

Ms Coy and Mr Pye say they now just want to rebuild the home they so dearly loved and get on with their lives.

“All we want now is to rebuild,” Mr Pye said.

“But we know these things take time.”



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