Community pulls together for fire-hit family
WHEN Cody Tallon got a phone call on Tuesday morning to say the Coaldale house she lived at with her mum had burnt down, she thought it was a joke.
It was her birthday and Cody and her eight-month-old daughter had spent the night at a friend's place.
Tragically, it was not a prank.
Her mother Terry Tallon woke about 7am on Tuesday to flames roaring in the lounge room.
"She rushed outside to fill the Esky with water but by the time got back inside, half the house was fire," Cody said.
"We don't know exactly what has happened but we're assuming it was the heater."
Terry barely had time to pull her grandson out of the house before it erupted in flames. Their pet cat and birds diedin the fire. The Tallons also lost all of their possessions.
"It was a very old house so it would have gone up really quickly," Cody said.
"I'm upset that we've lost everything but I'm just glad my family's okay.
"Everything else can be replaced, it just takes time."
Judging by the community's generosity so far, that might not take as long as they think.
A GoFundMe page called Help Rebuild a Family Home has already raised $515, and Prince St Coffee House in Grafton is taking donations of goods and clothing.
Coffee House's Tanya Boulton, a friend of Terry, said the response had been heartwarming.
"The community has been absolutely wonderful in donating and dropping things off, and I've had that many emails from people wanting to help; that's the best thing about this town," Ms Boulton said.
Cody also emphasised how much her family appreciated help.
"I've been surprised, it's been amazing," she said.
I even had a woman donate formula to me for my baby daughter."
Donate to the campaign at www.gofundme.com/mhhak