A family of seven whose house caught fire on Boxing Day have been "humbled" by the reaction of the public.

Whanganui woman Ngawai Kumeroa's uncle, auntie and five cousins, were out at the supermarket last week when a fault in their hot water cylinder set their Marton house on fire, leaving it unliveable.

Ms Kumeroa took to Facebook to see if anyone had clothes they no longer needed and could pass along to the family.

Within a few days, people had donated "pretty much a household full of things".


"My uncle deserves everything he can get, he's always been the type to put others before himself, just always giving a helping hand," Ms Kumeroa said.

"I thought in return I would do the same for him, and I'd see if people were willing to donate and, you know, just help ease the stress."

Ms Kumeroa put the message out on the Buy, Sell, Swap Wanganui Facebook page, and later asked if anyone had spare furniture or household items they would like to donate.

The response was "amazing".

"Everybody's just given so much already.

"[They've] already been given boxes of clothes and shoes . . . today I'm doing quite a few pick-ups after work."

Twenty or more people have donated items, including sofas, wall units, TVs, TV units, and kitchen utensils.

"It's actually really amazing."

The family, who were still coming to terms with what had happened, were "just so humbled".

"They just feel so grateful for everything that the community . . . are doing to help them get back on track during this tough period and the season itself. I know it's Christmas, everybody's got their own things that they could be spending their time and money on.

"Just the response has blown us away completely."

The house was fully insured, but the family must stay elsewhere for now. The children are aged between 9 years old and 19 or 20, Ms Kumeroa said.

She wanted to thank the people who had donated.

"Thanks isn't enough, really."