Family lose everything in devastating blaze


A LISTON family are reeling after their home went up in flames on Sunday claiming everything they owned.

A trampoline was all that was sparred in the devastating fire that claimed the house and car.

The small village are rallying around the young family after they lost everything in the devastating blaze.

Chris Wallbridge from the Northern Tablelands RFS said when firies arrived at the scene the home was unsalvageable.

“It occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning – when we arrived it was well alight.

“Queensland Fire and Rescue from Stanthorpe attended as well but the house was fully involved,” Mr Wallbridge said.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire with the owner, a single mother of two, visiting family in Sydney.

The woman’s 16-year-old daughter was the only one in the area, staying with friends in Stanthorpe over the weekend.

It’s believed a clothes drier may have been the cause of the blaze.

In the ensuing days neighbours have done their part to support the family.

“The fire happened around midnight – they’ve quite literally lost everything,” Liston resident John Howard said.

Mr Howard and wife Kym along with young Liston resident Laura Simpson and Tenterfield Shire councillor Gary Verri have offered up housing, clothes and food to the family.

They’re hoping others will put their hand up to show support too.

“Yesterday we went to Vinnies in Stanthorpe to try getting some emergency clothing.

“The young boy only turned 10 on the 12th of this month – he probably lost all his toys and presents,” John said.

A number of other families, churches and businesses in Stanthorpe have agreed to help the family.

Mr Howard said they were hopeful Tenterfield might do the same.

Liston residents will hold a meeting later this evening to figure out the best way forward with Mr Howard hopeful people will attend and show support.

They’re planning a fundraiser for January 31 at the Kilpa St park in Stanthorpe from 1pm with live music and a barbecue.

The family have been put up in temporary accommodation but it is unknown whether their home or contents were insured.

“They’re just numb and overwhelmed, feeling a bit disjointed. I think they’re still going through the stages of grief,” Kym Howard said.

For more information on how you can help contact the Howard’s on 07 4686 1012.


SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council have pulled the plug on the proposed park fundraiser, for reasons unknown at this stage.

Instead, Stanthorpe’s Top Pub will host a day long event on Sunday, February 1with a barbecue, live music, bush poetry, face painting and ajumping castle.

A $1 from each drink sold will also go to the family.

An auction will be held with goods coming in thick and fast from supporting businesses.

Despite the venue, organisers say it will remain a fun family day for a charitable cause.

Things will kick-off at 10am and run through to 10pm.

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