Nearly all the possessions of Kirsty O’Reilly and her four daughters were destroyed by a fire which broke out in their rented Casino home on Monday.
Nearly all the possessions of Kirsty O’Reilly and her four daughters were destroyed by a fire which broke out in their rented Casino home on Monday. Dennis Ford

Crowdfunding started for Casino family devastated by fire

WHEN single mother Kirsty O'Reilly got a phone call on Monday morning saying her rental home at Casino was on fire, she didn't believe it.

The 36-year-old had just arrived at a Kyogle dentist with three of her four daughters when she got the call, about 11am.

"At first I thought they were speaking to the wrong person about the wrong house and I didn't understand what they were telling me," she said.

"Then I started panicking because I was so far away and my eldest daughter was meant to have left the house after me and I wondered if she was alright.

"(The dad of) my daughter's best friend ... is a policeman in Casino, so they were able to confirm it was my house.

"I found out my daughter's car wasn't there and she had gone to work so I had all those emotions and feelings at once.

"It took me at least 25 minutes to get home and when I got there the firies were finishing their work so I didn't actually see it while it was burning ... it was shocking, just a burnt-out shell."

Ms O'Reilly said she was not able to salvage much of her uninsured contents.

"We lost basically everything, including all the kids' back to school stuff," she said.

The house was examined by specialist forensic police before being handed back to the owners.

Within hours, family friend Cherie Chapman set up a Crowdfunding campaign for Ms O'Reilly and her daughters aged 18, 16, 14 and 8.

Ms O'Reilly said the generosity and support of the Casino community had been overwhelming.

"Coles, where my eldest works, and McDonalds, where my three eldest work, have been fantastic, providing food and uniforms, and my employer Woolworths has been amazing," she said.

"We have received lots of generous donations of clothes and household items and some furniture."

Ms O'Reilly and her daughters plan to move into a new rental property on Friday.

Donations for the family had reached $670 at https://www.gofundme.com/jfjtup44 as of 5pm yesterday.


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