‘Everything has been destroyed’

‘Everything has been destroyed’

Fire gutted this Mount Richon property last month. Photograph – Richard Polden.

A Mount Richon woman was left with only the clothes on her back and the shoes on her feet last month as flames destroyed her home of close to 40 years.

An unattended candle caused about $350,000 damage at Maria Lenz’ Jasper Place home on April 19 destroying all her belongings.

For Ms Lenz her house was her sanctuary as she battles with daily health issues such as diabetes.

Niece Joy Sherlock said Ms Lenz was absolutely devastated and was now at an absolute loss as to what she would do now.

“Virtually everything was lost in the fire, they salvaged some memory cards but not much else,” she said.

“It contained years of artwork, all her memories of her children now grown and was her safe place in the world.

“Maria is now staying with family short term until she gets her head wrapped around what has happened and work on a plan from there.”

Ms Lenz’ family has rallied around her in support but is now hoping the wider community may be able to assist her in rebuilding her life.

“She has had a few donations of clothes but does not have much room for anything at the moment,” she said.

“What is really needed is donations to go towards the demolition of the remaining burnt house and to get the debris removed from the block as it is dangerous.

“We will try to get enough money together to at least get her a caravan or something in the meantime after the rubble has been removed and from there we will reassess the plan, it is step by step at this point.”

Ms Sherlock said her aunt is a talented artist and any donations of paints or art supplies would also be appreciated as this hobby might keep her mind and body busy in the challenging times ahead.

If you can help call Examiner Newspapers on 9390 1377 or donate via the GoFundMe page.

Photographs – Richard Polden