HEARTBREAK: Man's brother dies, house burns down on same day
GEORGE Netz and his tight-knit family have been forced to endure a year from hell.
The Monto man's life began to unravel in November 2017 when he was rocked by the passing of his father.
They were extremely close. They had lived together on the land at Glenleigh all their life.
Two weeks ago his brother Tony suffered a massive stroke and was placed in intensive care.
Doctors tried to relieve the swelling on his brain but he contracted pneumonia and deteriorated rapidly.
At 3.08pm last Wednesday, Tony passed away.
In the fortnight Tony was in the ICU, George's son Ryan was hospitalised twice with a heart condition.
The Netzs knew Tony's death was coming but George couldn't make it to be at his brother's side.
He was at his sister Anne's neighbouring property when they received the heartbreaking news.
Less than 15 minutes later, shortly after 4pm, George and Anne heard gunshots.
They thought nothing of it until the ringing of gunfire was punctuated by a loud bang. They ran outside to see a thick cloud of smoke coming from the direction of George's home.
He raced back to find his house engulfed in flames.
There was nothing he could do.
The shots they heard was ammunition going off inside his safe. It was the only thing still standing.
An hour after losing his brother, George sat on a tree stump and cried as he watched everything he owned go up in flames.
The property on Netzs Rd has been in the family since its selection in 1928.
For the past five days there has been one thought on George's mind: "What have I done to deserve this?"
He has struggled to come to terms with how one family can be so unlucky.
"I still can't get my head around it," he said.
"I feel worse each time I come back and see it. That house has been there all my life. There is nothing left. You wouldn't believe how much can be lost in such a short period of time."
There was nothing suspicious about the blaze.
An electric heater was on, there was wood burning in a stove and coals in a separate heater on the balcony.
Nothing out of the ordinary. He had left the house like that thousands of times before.
He still doesn't have a clue how it started.
Factor in the drought and the ongoing battle to feed their cattle and you wonder how much a family can take.
You can support the Netz family via a GoFundMe page https://tinyurl.com/yaey872y.