Survivor relives horrific house fire ordeal
THE LENNOX Head community have rallied behind the men who "lost it all" In the Lennox Head house fire which destroyed two houses last month.
The two homes on Survey St were engulfed in flames on October 14 after a "fierce" blaze also threatened neighbouring properties.
The house where the fire started was that of Mark Robertson, Michael Allatt, Gus Faithfull and Matt Hutchin. The men and Mr Hutchin's girlfriend were asleep inside the house but miraculously escaped the blaze unharmed, with only Mr Allatt being taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.
Mr Roberston was overseas at the time, and returned with nothing but a backpack and no home.
Survivor, Gus Faithfull, 30, said he woke up after the house fire had started to a loud noise that sounded like a whip cracking.
"It was a bit of a shock when I woke up," Mr Faithfull said.
"I woke up early that morning to noises and I thought my room mates were drunk cooking some food, it sounded like dishes banging together.
"My room was little bit hazy and I had a pretty intense blocked nose at the time, it was just the noise of a big crack of flames that woke me."
I popped my head out of my bedroom door, I thought it was going to be in the kitchen - but the flames had started on the outside of the house."
Mr Faithfull said their neighbours called in the fire at about 1am.
"We were all asleep," he said.
"No one was coming in to save us because they deemed it too dangerous, supposedly, so we had to get out ourselves.
"I'm not blaming rescue crews at any point at all ... The police and fire brigade both did an excellent job.
"By the time we got out they were already set-up fighting the blaze for a good amount of time. It was a bit weird walking out of blazing fire, because all the door ways were engulfed. They put the fire down to an electrical fault."
He thanked the neighbours for "sounding the alarm."
"I feel for them because the fire didn't start on their property and they lost everything too."
To soften the blow of the men losing all of their belongings, including family heirlooms with sentimental value, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise much needed funds for them. So far, the campaign has raised more than $3500 from 71 backers.
Mr Faithfull said collectively, they were overwhelmed by the steady and continued support from the Lennox Head and surrounding communities after the house fire.
"It's really awesome," Mr Faithfull said.
"I didn't expect anything, but pretty much the next day people were sending out phone calls, messages emails to support everyone who was involved. Locals on the I Live in Lennox Head Facebook page made it clear they were more than willing to help out, sending us lists list to see what they can help us out with throughout our new house."
Residents weren't the only supporters with Ballina Salvos offering the men free clothes and furniture and gave them a $500 cash donation each to help them get back on their feet.
"It helps out out a lot too because you have to start from scratch again," he said.
"You lose everything, pretty much every dollar helps, from buying coat hangers to big things."
"I feel bad asking for any money, but people have been very generous. Thanks to everyone who has donated."
"The creator of the campaign is one of Mark's friends, I'm yet to find out who it is yet but if you are reading, thank you so much mate."