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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

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