Flames shoot from the house at Girards Hill where the Provost family lost all their belongings.
Flames shoot from the house at Girards Hill where the Provost family lost all their belongings. Eric Spedding

Residents help fire victims

THE Lismore family whose rented Girards Hill home was destroyed by fire on Tuesday are still struggling to come to terms with their loss.

Inna and Rob Provost, and their 11-year-old son Josh, returned to the house yesterday to find their beloved family cat had perished in the blaze.

On a brighter note, neighbours have reported an out pouring of generosity from Lismore residents wanting to help the uninsured family.

“I’m amazed,” said one neighbour. “People have been ringing up and knocking on the door offering things I would never have thought of – really basic things that you need, like toothbrushes.”

Other residents have reported people dropping off cheques and asking how they could assist.

Inna Provost said she was deeply touched by the support, but returning to the house and finding her cat had ‘pushed her over the edge’.

“It’s pretty overwhelming. I still don’t know exactly what we need,” she said.

“Thankfully, we’ve been offered a house. Someone rang up after reading about our situation in The Northern Star and said they had a house to rent and we were just the people they were looking for.”

Acting Inspector Paul Fredericks said investigations were continuing, but the fire appeared to be accidental and there were no suspicious circumstances at this stage. Lismore police are preparing a report for the coroner.

Meanwhile, Inspector Owen King said that Byron Bay police had finished their investigation into Sunday night’s double house fire at Wategos and it was likely that the result would be available ‘in a day or two’.



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