LUCKY ESCAPE: Well known FNC couple Judy and Richard Edwards escaped their home when it caught fire but they lost everyhting. Now a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to assit the rebuild their lives. Photo: Graham Broadhead
LUCKY ESCAPE: Well known FNC couple Judy and Richard Edwards escaped their home when it caught fire but they lost everyhting. Now a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to assit the rebuild their lives. Photo: Graham Broadhead

Local couple escaped from burning home but lost everything

After a Northern Rivers couple lost everything they owned in a house fire on Monday morning, a crowd-funding campaign is helping them rebuild their lives.

The campaign has already raised more than half of it's $10,000 target, which was $5,065 at the time of publication.

Yesterday (Tuesday February 2, 2021) campaign organiser Lesley Mitchell posted the call-out for support for Richard and Judy Edwards whose property caught fire in the early hours of Monday morning.

"Well known locals, Richard and Judy Edwards, known for their many years running Pancho Villa at Lennox Head have sadly lost their home and possessions in a fire in the early hours of Monday morning," she posted.

"They have pretty much lost everything in the fire, even their clothes.

"Unfortunately their contents insurance had expired.

"We need your help to assist them to buy new furniture, linen, crockery, utensils and other basic items.

"Any funding help you can provide is greatly appreciated to help them get resettled as soon as possible."

Richmond Police District Inspector Bill McKenna said the incident occurred at The Terrace o on the Coast Rd, Ballina shortly after 2am.

"Around 2.20am the owner-occupants were woken from their sleep in their bedroom in the upper story when their smoke alarm went off," he said.

"They were lucky to make their way pas the heat and smoke and get outside where they called emergency services."

Insp McKenna said when the police arrived a few minutes later, they helped by turning garden hoses onto the fire and were soon backed up by firefighters form Alstonville and Ballina who had the flames extinguished by 3am.

"The couple were both treated for smoke inhalation and taken to Ballina Hospital," he said.

"The is significant damage to the lower level with the majority of frame work scorched and the upper storey damaged by smoke and heat."

Insp McKenna said they understand the fire originated in garage on the premises near the front end of a motor vehicle.

"More importantly, the couple did all the right things," he said.

"They had a working fire alarm and got out, they were very lucky."

Fire & Rescue North Coast Inspector Phil Sheedy, said eight firefighters from Ballina and 10 from Alstonville did an excellent job.

"When the fireifghters arrived they were faced with the unit above the garage on fire," he said.

"The heartening aspect though is the occupants had a working fire alarm and knew their escape route."

You can contribute to the GoFundMe campaign here.