The house gutted by fire on Australia Day.
The house gutted by fire on Australia Day.

DIG DEEP CALL

By LEIGH PRITCHARD

AN appeal has been set up for young couple Rob and Tracie Bizant whose house near Grafton burnt to the ground on Australia Day.

The former Queensland couple bought their dream home in the Clarence Valley in July. Last Wednesday they lost the dream and all their possessions when fire raced through the house in Boronia Road.

Junction Hill's Maureen Gollan sold the house to the former Cairns couple last year. Yesterday she was busy organising an appeal aimed at getting the couple back on their feet.

"They are just a young couple who moved into their dream home and then bang, it all goes up in smoke," she said.

Mrs Gollan said Tracie was helping out someone with their computer at Junction Hill and Rob was mowing on the property when the fire started on Wednesday afternoon. When Rob reached the house, it was well alight.

MRS Gollan said as a measure of the generosity of the community, a Grafton couple who do not want their names published, generously loaned their fully furnished flat to the Bizants until they get on their feet.

The couple stayed at Iluka over the weekend with an aunt and uncle.

"Because they are from Cairns they don't have much family in the area," Mrs Gollan said.

She said through the Grafton Lions Club, it was hoped to raise money to build a shed. The couple would live in the shed on the property while a new house was being built.

"They both work full-time and made a good life since they came here," Mrs Gollan said.

"Already people in the Clarence Valley have been wonderful in the past couple of days and not many people know about it," she said.

She said the couple had been doing up the house and had fitted it with new white goods and some new furniture and linen.

"Some of their stuff had not even been taken out of the boxes yet," Mrs Gollan said.

"My husband spent a lot of years on it as well. We stood with them and watched it burn.

"The good thing about it is they are young and will be able to get through it.

"They are not giving up and leaving ? when they get back on their feet they will be valuable members in our community."

Police said they were investigating the cause of the fire but there were no suspicious circumstances.

Grafton Lions Club President Bernie Barron said the club often helped out local families in need.

The club asked people to donate money to the Tracie and Rob Bizant Shed Appeal through the Lions club account at the National Bank, on the corner of Fitzroy and Prince Street, Grafton.



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