The only thing more devastating than losing everything you own in a fire, is realising you are not insured.
Policeman Chris Mitchell had just touched down on the Sunshine Coast for a relaxing Easter break, when he received a life changing phone call – his house had burnt down.
Chris and his wife Rebecca live in the police reserve behind the station with their two children.
Billowing plumes of black smoke rose high above the family home in the early hours of Easter Saturday.
A good Samaritan spotted the balloon of smoke and assumed the Mount Isa police station had caught fire.
“We received a call telling us our house was on fire,” Rebecca said.
“A few hours later we had another call saying that it had been put out but nothing was salvageable.
“It was such a shock and it took a long time to sink in. I couldn't believe it, I had to check it wasn’t April Fools,” she said.
Police investigated the fire and concluded there was nothing suspicious, most likely caused by a power point in the kitchen.
“Basically everything is gone, we could salvage a few bits and pieces like some photos,” Rebecca said.
“The saddest things we lost were my husbands mum’s things because she passed away a few years ago and also some baby things of the kids of the things we were saving for them.”
After the initial shock died down, the pair who have lived in Mount Isa for the past three years, realised they were not insured.
“We didn’t have contents insurance, everyone should make sure your insurance is up to date,” Rebecca said.
“It is still hard to believe, I go to the shops and don’t even know where to start. It has been pretty overwhelming.”
Rebecca wanted to thank all the people who have supported the family already.
“The police have found us another house three doors up, they have been amazing,” she said.
“My son goes to St Joe’s and they have replaced all his uniforms and my daughter’s school, Mary Mackillop, are doing a clothes and toys drive.
“My husband’s football club, Townies, straight away were trying to organise stuff for us.”
Rebecca’s sister Adrienne set up a fundraising page to help the Mitchell family out.
“They have a long road ahead as they get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. As much as they don’t like to accept help, they appreciate any and all gestures big or small. They are the people who are always there to help others and now it’s our turn to help and support them in their time of need,” Adrienne said.
You can donate at www.gofundme.com/support-the-mitchells