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Mother of eight-day-old boy loses her home in ‘catastrophic’ bushfires blazing in Taree, NSW

‘We have no idea what to do’: Mother of eight-day-old boy is left homeless after ‘catastrophic’ bushfires blazing across NSW raze her property to the ground

  • Young parents of a newborn baby boy lost their home and belongings in bushfire
  • Zoe Colligan, 20, fled with eight-day-old son Archer from home near Taree
  • She and her partner Ryan later found out their home had been destroyed in blaze

A young mother has lost everything, including her home, to the unprecedented bushfires raging across NSW.

Zoe Colligan, 20, fled with her eight-day-old son Archer from her property in Taree, NSW, on Friday after receiving a text to say a nearby fire had jumped the highway and was heading towards them.

The new mother and her son were able to escape the blaze, while her partner’s parents stayed back to try and fight for their home and animals.

A shed the couple had been living in on the Koorainghat property was gutted by the blaze within an hour, along with the main house and horse stables,

‘We have lost everything. All our clothes. Everything we had for our bub and all our furniture,’ Ms Colligan told news.com.au. 

Young parents Zoe Colligan (right) and her partner Ryan (left) lost everything in the blaze

Eight-day old Archer (pictured) is homeless after a bushfire gutted his parents' property

Eight-day old Archer (pictured) is homeless after a bushfire gutted his parents’ property

Ms Colligan said she has never experienced a firestorm like the one tore that has devastated the small township of just over 200 residents.

‘We haven’t heard anything more today … the whole area is still on fire,’ Ms Colligan said.

‘We have no idea what to do. To have a baby eight days old and this on top … it’s not what you want.’

Ms Colligan and her partner Ryan Thornhill are currently staying in an Air BnB near Taree as they try to work out how to rebuild their lives.   

Ms Colligan’s family has set up a Facebook fundraiser, which has raised $2000 within hours.

‘Zoe rang me this afternoon in tears. She and Ryan and his parents have lost everything in a bushfire,’ Brad Colligan posted.

‘And with the new baby Archer born on Saturday, she was frantic. She means the world to me and I cannot be there. The best birthday present I could have is helping them get back on their feet.’

Ryan Thornhill (pictured) and his partner Zoe welcomed their son Archer just eight days earlier

Ryan Thornhill (pictured) and his partner Zoe welcomed their son Archer just eight days earlier

Zoe’s partner Ryan took to Facebook on Saturday night to thank everyone for their support and to say his parents remained at the property with the horses and animals. 

‘They have low food and no water fire took the water out and they can’t go anywhere to get supplies if anyone could help be much appreciated with anything you all done so much and can’t put in to words how grateful me and my family are for everyone’s help,’ he wrote.

Three people has been confirmed dead in the raging bushfires that has caused widespread devastation on the NSW north coast. 

A body was found in a burnt-out building on Saturday afternoon after fires swept through the township of Johns River near Taree.

According to police, the home belongs to a woman, 63, but a post-mortem examination will be required to confirm identity and cause of death.

Police are speaking with the woman’s family and have initiated inquiries as they prepare a report for the coroner. 

Zoe Colligan said they have lost not only their home but also most of their possessions

Zoe Colligan said they have lost not only their home but also most of their possessions

The latest confirmed fatality comes after grandmother-of-six also lost her life as more than 90 bushfires rage across New South Wales and Queensland, destroying 150 homes and burning whole towns. 

Vivian Chaplain, 69, died trying to protect her home and animals near Wytaliba, northwest of Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.

She was found about 7pm on Friday after a blaze ripped through her property in Diehard, near Glen Innes, unconscious and suffering horrific burns over 40 to 50 per cent of her body.   

Firefighters and paramedics gave her first aid and CPR for hours at the burned-out property until she could be rushed to hospital, but she died on Saturday morning. 

Another body was found inside a burnt-out car near Diehard on Friday. 

A number of fires continue to burn in towns near Taree (pictured) on the NSW mid north coast

A number of fires continue to burn in towns near Taree (pictured) on the NSW mid north coast

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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