Rose and Hekoi Gallaher inspect all that remains of the family home at Langshaw, after a fire ripped through the property.
Rose and Hekoi Gallaher inspect all that remains of the family home at Langshaw, after a fire ripped through the property. Craig Warhurst

Family's despair as raging fire destroys Gallaher home

A BLACKENED pile of corrugated iron is almost all that remains of the family home where Rose Gallaher raised her six children and spent four decades of her life.

Fire and rain joined forces last Tuesday morning to ensure the complete destruction of the timber home overlooking the picturesque Eel Creek at Langshaw.

The home was not insured.

The cause of the fire was still unknown yesterday, but massive flames seen by neighbours kilometres away took little time to gut the highset building after smoke was first seen just before 10am.

It spared the life of one of Rose's nephews who was staying there on his own.

Keith Gallaher escaped with thee clothes he was wearing and a small bag of items. He lost everything else.

Rose and her estranged husband Patrick lost all of the photos of their children growing up, as well as a house full of furniture and many other items still in the home.

Rose's daughter Marie "Marz" Gallaher and her granddaughter Hekoi were by her side this week as she visited the ruins, walking unsteadily across the still flooded Eel Creek and up the steep hill to the house site.

Nestled on 73ha (180 acres), the Gallaher home has been a base and a refuge for the extended family since 1970.

A teary Rose had to turn away on Tuesday when fire fighters were cut off by a flooded Eel Creek.

They were unable to get their fire fighting equipment close enough to save the house.

Marz said she felt devastated but also "numb" and in disbelief about losing the home she grew up in.

The family wants to rebuild, but with no insurance money forthcoming, will find it almost impossible.

Marz has asked that if anybody can help the family they contact her via email at prgallaher fireappeal@hotmail.com or by phoning 0466 449 763.

A Gallaher family fire appeal has also been set up at CUA for anyone able to make a donation. BSB 814282 and Account No 3127 2215.

Gympie Times


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