House fire trauma

Returned home to find washing stolen from line.

Returned home to find washing stolen from line.

everything lost: A family living in this Stout Street house lost all their possessions in a fire on Friday. They were not insured. A givealittle page has been started to help them recover. Picture by Darren Beard

Sera Rutene lived with her three children at the Stout Street home gutted by fire on Friday.

The family lost everything and were not insured.

Ms Rutene remembered she had washing on the line so went back to get the items on Saturday. They were gone.

“Someone stole my washing.”

Even the pegs she used to hang the items up had been taken.

“I’m lost. It’s hitting me slowly, “ she said. “I’m too scared to go back and look at the house. It brings back too many memories. It’s traumatising.”

Ms Rutene said she was grateful she and the children were not home when the fire started.

“What hurts me the most is that there were personal belongings that meant a lot to us that we can never get back.”

A friend has started a givealittle page to help Ms Rutene, who has two daughters, 8 and 10, and a son, 6.

They are staying with whanau while they find somewhere to live.

Ms Rutene said the enormity of the situation was still sinking in but she had a lot of family support.

At first she wasn’t sure what to tell the children. But one of their friends had videoed the house fire, loaded it on to a TikTok app (where people can share short videos) and that’s how her children found out.

Police have arrested a 27-year-old and charged him with arson.

The givealittle page can be accessed at www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/a-beautiful-young-mum-of-3-left-with-nothing

Sera Rutene lived with her three children at the Stout Street home gutted by fire on Friday.

The family lost everything and were not insured.

Ms Rutene remembered she had washing on the line so went back to get the items on Saturday. They were gone.

“Someone stole my washing.”

Even the pegs she used to hang the items up had been taken.

“I’m lost. It’s hitting me slowly, “ she said. “I’m too scared to go back and look at the house. It brings back too many memories. It’s traumatising.”

Ms Rutene said she was grateful she and the children were not home when the fire started.

“What hurts me the most is that there were personal belongings that meant a lot to us that we can never get back.”

A friend has started a givealittle page to help Ms Rutene, who has two daughters, 8 and 10, and a son, 6.

They are staying with whanau while they find somewhere to live.

Ms Rutene said the enormity of the situation was still sinking in but she had a lot of family support.

At first she wasn’t sure what to tell the children. But one of their friends had videoed the house fire, loaded it on to a TikTok app (where people can share short videos) and that’s how her children found out.

Police have arrested a 27-year-old and charged him with arson.

The givealittle page can be accessed at www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/a-beautiful-young-mum-of-3-left-with-nothing

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