$42k raised after fire destroys home

A Kawakawa Bay family lost everything when a fire burnt their home and belongings to the ground in January. Photo: Givealittle.

More than $40,000 has been raised for a Clevedon family who lost everything in a devastating fire at the end of January.

On January 21, local couple Tony Keals and Lorraine Blackwell arrived home as firefighters battled to get the blaze that claimed their home under control.

The Givealittle page was set up by the Kawakawa Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade, who know the couple personally.

Tony was a ‘life member’ of the Volunteer Fire Brigade, having volunteered for them for more than 30 years.

Donations closed last week with a total of $42,117.81 raised by more than 300 generous donors.

The Givealittle page description read: “Even though the local volunteer fire-fighters arrived at the scene soon after the 111 call was made, the fire was aggressive and engulfed the family home quickly; fortunately no one was home when the fire broke out.

“Tony and Lorraine arrived while fire fighters got the blaze under control and watched helplessly as everything they had built up over the years burned to the ground…and then having the overwhelming sense of worries and sadness that came afterwards.”

It said that the family’s home and contents were not insured, and the couple, who have three young children, were relying on the kindness of friends and family to get them through.