Urgent accommodation needed
A FAMILY of seven are still without accommodation after their Gatton home was gutted by fire last Wednesday.
The family, as well as extended family members who were visiting for a celebration, lost everything and have been staying with relatives in Grantham – but need to find somewhere else to stay immediately.
Fire victim Charlene Manuel has contacted multiple support organisations and tried to speak to social workers at the Ipswich Hospital, but is yet to receive accommodation.
“If my sister-in-law wasn’t here for me to go to I don’t know what would happen, I might still be here (outside my house). I just don’t know what to do or how to do it,” Ms Manuel said.
The family escaped with nothing except the clothes they were wearing and a bag of expired passports.
It’s a living nightmare for the mother and grandmother who have experienced flashbacks of the fire.
As a New Zealand citizen, Ms Manuel has been told support organisations are unable to help them.
She has been in contact with NZ authorities who planned to help her visiting family return home, but little can be done for those family members living in Australia.
Ms Manuel’s father, daughter and two grandchildren were all visiting Gatton to celebrate her 18-year-old daughter’s birthday but they too lost everything in the fire.
A family member has offered to pay for Ms Manuel’s daughter to return to Sydney, but without identification they fear she will be unable to fly.
HELP NEEDED: Ariana, Wiremu and Charlene Manuel (daughter) in front of the burnt house.