The Boggabri community is rallying around a young family which is lucky to be alive after fire engulfed their home on the weekend.
Rebecca Farr woke to the sound of what she believed to be an intruder in their house at 3.50am on Saturday.
She then woke her partner Zain Martin, who on opening their bedroom door was confronted with a house full of smoke.
Rebecca’s first instincts turned to their 19-month-old son Walker who was still in his bedroom at the opposite end of the house.
The parents tried accessing their son’s bedroom but the smoke was too thick in the hallway.
The couple then exited the back of the house, and Mr Martin – who was wearing only his underpants – ran around the outside of the house to barge in the locked screen and front door.
Mr Martin was again met with plumes of smoke but was able to access their child’s room.
Mother Rebecca has always had a routine of closing their son’s bedroom door at night, so no smoke had entered little Walker’s room, and he was sleeping in his cot peacefully unaware. Unfortunately, it appears to have also prevented the activation of the home’s working smoke alarm, at least initially.
Dad Zain said: “I was running on adrenaline. I grabbed my son, covered him with his blanket and ran straight back out the front”.
By the time Mr Martin was back out the front of the house he turned to see the whole house was fully engulfed in flames.
Mr Martin handed their son to his partner and quickly grabbed a garden hose to try and extinguish the flames.
“I could not even feel the -2c temp being only in my undies, I just had to save my family,” Mr Martin said.
Miss Farr said at this point she “had no emotion” and she was in too much shock.
Emergency services were quick on the scene with fire crews from Boggabri, Wynella Rural and Gunnedah attending. It took the teams more than four hours to extinguish the fire which is believed to have started in the family’s lounge room from an open fireplace.
The Boggabri community quickly rallied around the young family, and by 9am on Saturday morning, had donations of clothes, a pram, bedding and shoes.
“Our local daycare centre even opened their doors to give us some nappies for Walker,” Miss Farr said.
“We have been inundated with support from the whole community, including gift vouchers from Boggabri’s Women’s Shed, and clothing from Gunnedah businesses. We are so grateful and cannot thank the community strongly enough.”
The family is staying with relatives until they can source other accommodation and would like to remind everybody to check that their smoke alarms are in working order.