Rod left with nothing but shirt on his back
A LOWMEAD man has been left with nothing but the shirt on his back after a fire tore through the 40-year old railway cottage he was living in.
After the fire came through and took everything three weeks ago, Rod Sorrenson has been living among the charred remains of the house and sleeping on a $10 mattress thrown on to the back of his ute.
Apart from a short stint at a mate's place, Mr Sorrenson has been washing in a small creek at the back of the rural property, collecting water from Baffle Creek and eating "dry food" for most of his meals.
So far no one from the local community has come to help or check up on him.
"No one from Lowmead has come down and given me water, smokes or even beer from the pub," he said.
"I can't even get ice from the pub anymore because they decided I was too negative and banned me," he said.
"I've lost $5000 worth of power tools, $3000 worth of solar gear, generators, three fridges, legal documents and all the gear I had for my 30ft Swanson boat."
"If I could be anywhere I'd be on that boat."
On the day of destruction it was hot and windy and Mr Sorrenson was relaxing on the veranda reading a book with his dog, Knuckles, when he noticed the fire burning across his neighbour's property.
"Within five minutes it came across quick and high and I grabbed my laptop, the dog and just got out with the shirt on my back," he said.
"The fire jumped the ute and by the time I got to the top of the driveway I saw the black smoke and knew the house had gone."
He said it took five minutes after he reached the top of the narrow and tree-covered driveway before the gas cylinders exploded.
A plastic wheelbarrow was the only item of Rod's to come through the inferno intact.
"I've got nothing left. No water. No generator. No nothing," he said.
"I can't even afford to rent a house."
Rod said he'd been "walking around in circles" since the fire.
"It's really boring when you've had an active life," he said.
Mr Sorrenson does not own the house but said he believes the owner's house insurance had run out.
"The police said the fire might have started from a cigarette but I don't know. I haven't heard back from anyone yet," he said.
With only Knuckles to keep Rod company, he is feeling down about his lot.
He said the Salvation Army had been the only group to help out, donating about $100 "worth of stuff".
To donate money, food or even a roof for Rod, email him at rodindependence@ gmail.com.