One of the Collier children sits in the Gemini among the ruins of his home.
One of the Collier children sits in the Gemini among the ruins of his home. Marc Stapelberg

The little yellow car that survived the Rappville blaze

WHEN the Collier family fled from the Rappville fires with their three children, they left behind Robert Collier's prized possession - a 1981 yellow Gemini.

"The car I most cared about, and I had to leave it behind," Robert said.

When they returned to Rappville a day later to see the charred remains of their house, Robert didn't expect to see his grandfather's Gemini not only intact, but barely touched by the fire.

"It was like a beacon of hope," Robert said.

My grandfather gave it to my dad, and my dad died last year, so I ended up with it."

There was fire all around and underneath it but apart from some minor damage, the bright yellow Gemini miraculously survived.

Robert uses the car as a runabout but had put it on historic rego and planned one day to do it up which will cost $5000, he said.

"I'll keep it in the family," he said with an eye on one day passing it onto his son.

The family lost their home and everything in it in the fire that ripped though Rappville on Tuesday, October 8.

They are currently in temporary accommodation in a motel in Ballina waiting for rental accommodation closer to Rappville and their children's school.

"Our aim is to stay in the community," Robert said.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up for the family by Lizzie Fisher. The Go Fund Me page states:

"We are hoping to raise $10,000 so that they can refurnish a new house (fridge, washing machine, crockery/cutlery, beds and mattresses, couch, dining table, kids toys and clothing, kids bikes, baby change table, pram).

"They have support from family and friends but just need a little extra help from you! Thank you so much for anything you can do. It means more than you can imagine."

So far $5230 of a $10,000 target has been raised.

To donate go to www.gofundme.com/f/family-loses-everything-in-bush-fire.

 

 

Significant damage to homes and property after fires tore through the region at Rappville.
Significant damage to homes and property after fires tore through the region at Rappville. Marc Stapelberg