The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Disaster Fund helps Fire Victims

by Cameron Outridge

The Maleny Local Disaster Fund has come to the rescue of fire victims Lyn and Don Hassall.  Representatives from the fund handed over a cheque for $500 to help Lyn and Don cope in the short term.  Rotary’s Gordon Jones, Lloyd Larney from the SES and Maleny Police’s Gary Rix presented the cheque just days after the Hassalls’ Watsons Lane house burned to the ground.

The community fund is provided by all service organisations in town and its aim is to relieve the immediate suffering of people who suffer a sudden loss like this.  “It’s very small compensation for losing all those memories but I guess it’s a reminder that Maleny really cares – which is great,’’ said Gordon Jones.   The house erupted in flames Thursday afternoon.

“It burnt down very quickly.  The fire is believed to have started in the laundry,’’ said Mr Jones.  “Lyn was in the house at the time but was unable to save anything at all. They have lost all their memorabilia – historical documents and even coins.  It’s a real shame.  Everything was melted.

“The remarkable thing was that they had plenty of water but the pipes melted and so they were unable to save anything.  “Don said everyone had been so friendly and sympathetic when he went to work the other day.  They are keen to build again on the same block but Don reckons he might have to get a second job.

“Don was left with what he was standing up in. He doesn’t even have any pajamas.”  Mr Jones pointed out that the disaster fund was for sudden disasters, not gradual crises. “It’s not meant to be where you have a financial case where someone runs out of money.   It’s for people that have a huge and sudden loss and it’s to help them start to get back on the feet.”

Pictured are Don Hassall, second from right, and his daughter Julie Hassall,
who is down from Toowoomba.  They accepted the cheque
from left, Gordon Jones, Gary Rix and Lloyd Larney.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.