David Watson, left, and his son Jon.
David Watson, left, and his son Jon.

Family dealt a cruel blow

A BAPAUME family has been left reeling after a fire destroyed a home along with irreplaceable mementos.

David Watson returned to his Amiens Rd home on Saturday evening to see an unusual yellow glow and find his home fully alight.

The blaze came just over a month after the death of Mr Watson's beloved wife Christine and left him with little more than the clothes on his back.

"It's been a tough time and then this on top of it... it's not good," Mr Watson said.

"The house is gone. Everything in the house is gone, everything that I had of hers, the whole lot."

But he was grateful that the family still had each other.

Mr Watson's son Jon, who lives in another house on the same property, was also at the scene and said he was relieved his father did not try to enter the burning building.

Despite the circumstances, the pair had the presence of mind to spring into action and remove a gas bottle from harm's way and clear the surrounding area of anything dangerous. Both praised the efforts of the emergency services and members of the community who came to their aid.

"Jade Hetherington came to help and buy us some time before the firies arrived and Aaron and Shari Mayne also assisted us. It's people like that who don't have to involve themselves but choose to anyway that really show that community spirit," Jon said.

"All of the emergency services personnel did their best and went above and beyond for us and we deeply appreciate what they did," he said.

He hoped the story might encourage people to donate to local support services like the Stanthorpe Community Op Shop.

"We are a really close family and Dad can stay with us and have a roof over his head but I hope this triggers something for people to give to the community because someone else might need something and what goes around comes around," Jon said.

Authorities are yet to determine the cause of the fire.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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