A WOMAN is heartbroken after losing everything she owned — all of which was uninsured — in a blaze at Eskdale yesterday.
Lee Eskell is due to undergo major surgery in coming weeks and said she had been left devastated by the house fire, caused apparently by an electrical fault.
“It’s hard … I had photos of my grandchildren, my grandmother, my parents … I’ve lost all those photos,” she said through tears.
“I have lost everything I own. Everything.
“And sadly, I didn’t have anything insured.”
Ms Eskell, 63, recently moved back to Eskdale and was driving to Albury when told of the fire, which started about midday.
The rented timber home, more than 80 years old, was completely destroyed, with only the items hanging on a clothesline and in her car surviving.
As Ms Eskell inspected the aftermath of the fire, she said: “I just can’t believe it”.
She stayed at her friend June Franks’ home overnight and was looking at emergency housing options.
Ms Frank is happy to receive donations for her friend.
Neighbour Anne Mann, first on scene as the fire started, said she felt for Ms Eskell.
“I saw this almighty blaze and I ran straight across the road yelling ‘help help help’.
“I didn’t think they were ever going to answer the door.
“Once they did I asked them to call triple-0,” she said.
Ms Mann described the atmosphere as “ solemn”.
“It’s history, memories that are gone forever,” she said.
“It’s devastating to think that lovely old home with people we all knew and cared for is gone.
“She’s going to need help.”
Ms Eskell’s landlord is believed to live in Echuca.
Firefighters believe an electrical fault started the fire at the rear of the Omeo Highway home.
Eskdale CFA captain Bill Wilson said there was little that could have been done to stop the blaze.
“It’s an old weatherboard house with plastic weatherboards stuck on it,” he said.
“It’s a good recipe for a fire.
“People should make sure they have working smoke alarms and make sure the electrical system is checked.”
Three CFA brigades responded to the fire.
Ms Mann said Eskdale was a tight-knit community that would support Ms Eskell.