Home and holiday plans up in smoke

JANE and Greg Powter were supposed to be holidaying in the Hunter Valley this weekend.

They had planned to visit a winery and watch a Steely Dan concert to celebrate the recent renovations to their Baronia Street home in Sawtell.

Instead they're reeling with shock and disbelief after a fire destroyed almost everything they owned yesterday morning.

Mrs Powter was at home with her husband Greg and daughter, Hannah 17, packing the car ahead of their trip.

At around 8.20am Hannah complained of a strange smell in the house and went to investigate.

As she turned to look into her parents' room she saw their queen size bed engulfed with flames.

"I remember yelling fire and trying to call triple-0," she said.

"Within minutes the hallway and my bedroom were on fire.

"Dad and I made it out to the front of the house.

"We were yelling to mum who was in the backyard with the dog.

"Dad was worried that mum was trapped so he broke through the side fence to make sure she was okay."

Ms Powter said there was also two builders working on the house at the time.

"Everything happened so fast," she said.

"I couldn't see much.

"The builders raced to turn off the electricity."

Ms Powter said she hates to think of everything they have lost.

"I keep thinking of my grandma's rings, Greg's guitar, the $600 door we had delivered just a few days ago, everything.

"But we are lucky to be alive."

Hannah, who is in Year 12 at Bishop Druitt High School, said she lost all her study material.

"All my books are burnt, my formal dress is destroyed and my bear that I kept as a childhood memento has been charcoaled," she said.

The Fire Brigade are currently investigating the cause of the fire.

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