Ngongotaha community rallies to help family

By Dana Kinita dana kinita@dailypost co nz

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HELPING HAND: Store manager of Ngongotaha's St Barnabus Church Op Shop Lyn Ross gathers clothes together for the family who lost their house in a fire this week. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER 311213SP1
HELPING HAND: Store manager of Ngongotaha's St Barnabus Church Op Shop Lyn Ross gathers clothes together for the family who lost their house in a fire this week. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER 311213SP1

The Ngongotaha community is rallying behind a family after a fire destroyed their house and everything they owned.

Little remains of the Parawai Rd property, after a blaze tore through the house on Monday morning. A mother of five children received treatment for burns on her hands but no other injuries or smoke inhalation was sustained by the other occupants.

St Barnabus Church Op Shop staff have offered their support to the family.

"They're in our community, so we want to help," shop manager Lyn Ross said. "It's also why the op shop was set up in the first place, we sell items at a very low cost and when there is a real need we can help," clergy of St Barnabus Church and shop volunteer Ann Crawford said.

"Ngongotaha is a very tight knit community, there are a lot of fundraisers and community events that goes on and when tragedy hits anyone will rally around them," Miss Crawford said.

The op-shop is run by 30 volunteers and often help those in need.

"We have given things to Plunket, SPCA, blankets, sheets, often have taken clothes to the mental health op shop and had given to Bainbridge House," Mrs Ross said.

It's believed the fire was started by one of the children playing with a lighter under the bed. There was no smoke alarm in the house. The family had lost all their possessions, including furniture, clothes and electrical appliances, but they were fully insured.

Willowhaven Holiday Park have offered temporary accommodation while numerous offers of help have flooded in on the Pay it Forward Rotorua page on Facebook.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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