Town rallies for fire victim
By MARY MANN
KYOGLE woman Robyn Dearney was only an hour into her Friday night shift at the local bowling club when she received a devastating phone call.
“You’d better come quick, your house is on fire – badly,” her neighbour said on the other end of the line.
Stunned, Robyn quickly hung up the phone.
“I’ve got to go, my house is on fire,” she yelled as she ran out of work.
When she arrived at the Fawcett Street home she had owned for seven years, she burst into tears.
Black smoke was billowing from the house, neighbours were watching from their windows and emergency crews fought hard for more than an hour to put out the blaze.
“I just cried,” Robyn told The Northern Star the next day.
“The whole place is trashed, they’ll have to knock it down. It’s just so lucky no one got badly hurt.”
The Kyogle community has already begun rallying around one of its favourite locals, collecting some money on Saturday to buy Robyn clean clothes.
Donations are being collected at The Exchange Hotel, The Commercial Hotel and the Kyogle Bowling Club.
When the fire started about 6.30pm, the young man who boards with%Robyn was at home with his girlfriend watching DVDs.
They were able to escape the fire and rescue Robyn’s two dogs.
Soon after they vacated the house a gas cylinder exploded.
Neighbour John Duncan said he heard ‘one hell of an explosion’.
Smoke wafting across the street forced Mr Duncan to seek hospital treatment, but he was released after a few hours.
Police said it was the second fire at the home in the past few months after someone lit a fire in the electrical box in November.
Yesterday they were continuing investigations into what caused the fire, and whether it was linked to the previous one.