A couple has been left devastated after returning home to find their pets and everything they owned had been destroyed by bushfires.
Teneille Hielscher, 30, and Aaron McDonald, 33, were caring for wombats impacted by bushfires raging across NSW and Queensland, when the NSW hinterland home they lived in at Drake Village burned to the ground.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post on Saturday, Ms Hielscher described returning home to find she and her partner had “lost everything” in the fires overnight, including their pets who perished in the blaze.
Sharing the “really horrible news” with friends and family, Ms Hielscher said she was looking for support.
“The very worst of all is that my baby birds were in the house when it went up and they weren't able to get to them which hurts so much it's truly, truly horrible,” she wrote.
“I've lost my car (no insurance) and all my belongings. Feeling incredibly shocked and heartbroken.”
She described the event as “by far the worst experience I've ever had” and empathised with those who stayed to protect their properties.
Mr McDonald told Yahoo News Australia the couple feel “beaten up” after losing everything including their two cockatiels Thunder and Delilah.
“We’ve lost basically everything and at the moment feeling rattled and worn out,” he said.
Mr McDonald said the entire area has “smelt like a campfire” for about a week now.
The 33-year-old is yet to go back and inspect the full damage done to the property but added “it’s hugely reassuring” they have the support of the State Government, Red Cross and Salvation Army.
A friend of the couple set up a GoFundMe page to help the pair with financial support through the tough time. It has already raised more than $7000 of its $10,000 goal in just four days.
“They lost all their belongings cars, pets and studio gear. We are raising money to support in this point in time,” the campaign organiser wrote on the page.
“All help is so welcome!”
‘Race against time’ to control NSW bushfires
NSW firefighters are in a "race against time" to control three massive bushfires in the state's north before conditions are expected to worsen over the weekend.
Warnings for the blazes at Bees Nest near Armidale, Drake near Tenterfield, and Shark Creek in the Clarence Valley were on Wednesday downgraded to 'advice' levels after the threat eased overnight.
Emergency alerts had been issued for two-of-the-three fires but easing winds helped fire crews get the upper hand and slow their spread.
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