News

Family loses everything to fire then cyclone

The Williams family has been doing it tough since a fire destroyed their home and Cyclone Debbie destroyed what they'd rebuilt.
The Williams family has been doing it tough since a fire destroyed their home and Cyclone Debbie destroyed what they'd rebuilt. Contributed

A MOTHER and her four children have been left with only the frames of a shed and a few belongings to their name, after Cyclone Debbie tore through their home and left little to spare.

The Williams family had been struggling to recoup after a fire demolished their home 14 years ago and now the destruction caused by the cyclone has brought them back to square one.

Becky Williams said she had lost all hope and worries for her children, who had to endure the traumatic experience.

 

Inside the family's home after Cyclone Debbie and before the clean-up.
Inside the family's home after Cyclone Debbie and before the clean-up. Contributed

"It was my oldest daughter's first birthday when our house burnt down," Ms Williams said.

"We had managed to rebuild and then Debbie decided to come in and wipe us out again.

"The water came up about 40cm high, part of the roof was torn off, there's just frames left."

Ms Williams said after the fire, her family had had to start from the ground up again, living beneath only some tin and wooden frames and adding caravans later on. Cyclone Debbie stripped them of all that was left.

 

WHAT'S LEFT: Ms Williams is trying to save cupboards damaged by water.
WHAT'S LEFT: Ms Williams is trying to save cupboards damaged by water. Contributed

"We slowly built it up over the last few years, but it was really hard to turn around and walk into our home and find it in that way again," she said.

"We've lost everything, water came up that high. I had struggled and somehow even managed to get together the money to finally buy my little boy a Playstation just two weeks before.

"He bawled and bawled because that was ruined too. Everything we have or had we struggled to get. It just seems a little bit unfair."

The family has since been working hard to restore their home, but Ms Williams said it was difficult and the stroke of bad luck had left them disheartened.

"I want to rebuild for the kids, I want them to feel safe and have a warm bed and have their home back, but at the same time sometimes I just want to throw the towel in," she said.

"My mum's also crippled and lives with us, she's quite ill and I help care for her with her arthritis and diabetes.

 

"It all just gets a bit much with mum, four kids and all this happening. Sometimes I feel like I've failed them, it just breaks my heart a little bit."

Ms Williams said despite the family's difficulties, they were still doing their best to remain positive and build back the home and life they once had.

"The kids have been great, they've been helping out, grabbing a broom and cleaning up," Ms Williams said.

"Hopefully, we can get something back with insurance. At first they said we weren't eligible but then an assessor came down and actually looked at the place and was like 'no you are definitely eligible'.

"We'll pull through though, we always do. We have to."

Topics:  bowen cyclone cyclone debbie cyclone debbie damage insurance mackay property

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Husband and wife team take top khanacross spots

RALLY CHAMPS: Outright winner Tim Hall with close runner-up and wife Kym Hall.

Whitsunday Sporting Car Club held its Twilight and Gravel Khanacross

Prossie star is kicking goals

Kaylem Douthwaite (second from right)  with his North Queensland team mates in Bundaberg at the Vic Jensen Carnival.

Prossie star is kicking goals.

Local Partners

Tycoon plans China-wide blitz if island plan gets go ahead

TYCOON William Han plans a China-wide billboard blitz promoting Queensland if he gets the green light to build a $583 million luxury complex with three resorts

Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

How many triangles are in this picture?

The simple illustration has been shared thousands of times on Facebook after leaving viewers scratching their heads.

VIDEO: The 'Disco Boob' trend at Splendour

Rachael Millen, of Newcastle, sporting the fashionable chest peace of glitter at Splendour in the Grass 2017 near Byron Bay.

VIDEO: Festival organisers forced to clarify policy on nudity.

Bieber quit tour to set up his own church?

Justin Bieber on stage during his concert at ANZ Stadium in Homebush.

Bieber is calling it quits on the rest of his Purpose World Tour

Bachelor hopeful ‘didn’t realise how naked she was’

The Bachelor Australia‘s Leah

Her dress was certainly daring, but she wasn't aware by just how much

Phelps shredded over shark race fiasco

"Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," with Phelps testing his speed against that of a great white shark.

People are genuinely upset at the way the race was run

Film boss marvels at Sunshine State

FOR REVIEW AND PREVIEW PURPOSES ONLY. Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth in a scene from the movie Thor: Ragnarok. Supplied by Marvel.

Thor: Ragnarok success may mean more Marvel movies for Queensland.

ABC's Q&A: Should 16-year-olds be allowed to vote?

Opposition Health Minister Catherine King on the Q & A panel, left, and right, Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg.

But there was one thing the students weren't discussing.

TENANTS FROM HELL: See the mess left by evicted couple

DISGUSTING: Mess left by evicted tenants. Owner of the Mongogarie property Christine Beatty has been left at least $5000 out of pocket.

Couple were 'living large' while not paying their rent

How Gladstone's cheapest and most expensive homes stack up

SPECTACULAR: This home on Springs Road, Agnes Water, is selling in the mid-$2 million range.

With the market currently low, now is the time to invest.

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!