Dream home destroyed

A FAMILY of nine was left homeless after a house fire at Karoola yesterday afternoon.

Fire services attended the blaze, which destroyed the family's dream home about 1.12pm.

Distraught parents Lauren and Paul Lockwood were yesterday struggling to comprehend how to rebuild their lives after losing almost everything they owned.

The main concern for the devoted parents yesterday afternoon was their seven children, aged between three and 16.

No one was home when the fire began, but the family lost their beloved guinea pigs, rabbit and parrot.

The couple said they were hopeful their four cats would return home.

The Barretts Road house represented a dream for the tight-knit family, who gathered family and friends each Sunday for a working bee to help improve their home before moving in about three years ago.

The couple had always wished to live in the country after spending much of their lives in cities.

Lauren said she hoped to rebuild in the same spot.

``It was laughter, love, fun,'' Lauren said.

``We loved it out here. It was just perfect.''

It was the second time Mr Lockwood had lost everything in a house fire following a similar incident about nine years ago.

He said his children were his main motivation.

``I've done it before, I'll do it again,'' he said.

Police and fire services stayed on patrol overnight and will begin investigations this morning.

 The family is known for helping others in need, notably donating carloads of items to people affected by Hobart bushfires and rallying the community to help the Stumpes, who lost their Rowella home in February.

To donate toys or clothes for the family's children call Elizabeth Lockwood on 0418575474 or visit Watkins Removals and Storage and ask for Kaye Porter.


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