Christmas dream still alive for blaze victims

By Kate Wilson

HIS home may have been consumed by a devastating fire, but five-year-old Jakob Thompson is certain Santa will find him this Christmas.

The little Rosedale boy saw the latest Santa Claus movie recently, and he has the utmost faith in the man in the red suit.

But it may take more than a Stuart Little Xbox game to save the Thompson-Richardson family's Christmas.

Examining the rippling corrugated iron which is the remains of her home, Claudia Richardson was just thankful her family were alive yesterday.

"I'm glad we weren't home, anyone asleep in there wouldn't have gotten out," she said.

"I was told it took just eight minutes for the whole place to go up in smoke."

Ms Richardson, husband Peter Thompson and their five children are still coming to terms with losing their home and most of their belongings in the shocking blaze.

"We didn't sleep very well last night," Mr Thompson said.

"Claudia and I woke around 5am and had a look at the house, it was still glowing then."

Fortunately the dream home and its contents were insured - a lesson the family learnt the hard way.

Nine years ago, a faulty heater set alight their Melbourne home and they had no contents insurance.

While the family waits to find out if their insurance has been enough, they are living out of a shed, without running water or electricity.

Their insurance is expected to cover emergency accommodation, but it will still be a grim Christmas for the family.

Some of their presents were lost in the fire and Mr Thompson is expecting his daughter tomorrow for a Christmas visit.

But all seven-year-old Leila wants for Christmas is her dog Spike, who disappeared during the fire.

The family are hoping the black and white mixed-breed pup ran away and will be home soon.



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