DOUG and Carolyn Greensill are doing it tough.
The owners of the historic Kandanga Hotel, destroyed by fire last Saturday morning, are battling to keep a makeshift bar open while dealing with the devastating loss of everything they owned.
They have found temporary accommodation and are buoyed by the generosity andkindness of locals and businesses in the community.
People began arriving while the pub was still burning and the following day, the temporary bar was up and running in a double garage behind the wet, smouldering ruin.
But it's still early days for the couple who cannot move forward until assessors have completed their investigation into the fire and its cause.
They have been working in the blackened ruin which has been fenced off for safety reasons.
"They (assessors) don't yet know the cause but it is known it started in the kitchen," Mrs Greensill said yesterday.
The two barmaids and five chefs have had to be let go, but will be the first to be re-employed when the new pub is build, she said.
"Our barmaids are helping us out, but we don't know what's happening yet. It's still early days and until we know what's going on and how trade will go, we can't do much."
The couple would like to rebuild the new hotel in the style of the old, but of course, regulations are different today so a lot will depend on what the council says, Mrs Greensill says.
"It will determine the final look the building."
But the couple fully intend to start the rebuild as soon as they possibly can.
Meanwhile, they are hanging in there and are comforted by the support they are receiving from the community.
As a thank you, Santa Claus will be making a special appearance tomorrow at the temporary bar and the band, plus ABBA Rebjorn, will be performing on the back of a truck from 6.30pm until 8.30pm - before they head into Gympie to play at Billys.
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