“WHEN I arrived, I saw people running out of the house with photo albums,” said QFRS Emerald Station captain Logan McIntosh, who attended the house fire on Kythera Road.
With the help of Emerald firefighters, the Petersens were able to salvage a few personal belongings, including jewellery and a safe, but everything else apart from one room was destroyed, including Christmas presents, Ryan’s birthday presents and his Xbox.
The loss of his Xbox was particularly tragic for Ryan, who suffers from osteo-genesis imperfecta, a type of brittle bone disease, preventing him from participating in any contact sports.
“Ryan is really limited to what he can do so his Wii and his Xbox were everything to him and both were destroyed in the fire,” said Lynne.
“We got him the Xbox two weeks ago and he loves it. It’s a great way for him to get some interactive exercise, and he’s been feeling really good about himself.”
Eager to do what they could, the firies came to the rescue a second time, chipping in for a new Xbox for the birthday boy.
“At the end of the day we love our community…We feel responsible to protect them. When you go to a house that’s pretty much destroyed and it’s three weeks from Christmas, as parents, you know…this kid’s pretty much lost his Christmas and birthday in the space of 10 minutes,” said Captain McIntosh.
Emerald Station used its social fund to purchase the new Xbox 360 with extra controls, with EB Games donating $150 of merchandise and Toyworld donating a remote controlled car.
Lynne had tears in her eyes when the firies presented the gifts to Ryan yesterday.
“This is the quietest I’ve ever seen him. I don’t know what to say. It’s just awesome,” she said. “The firies have been absolutely brilliant. They did a fantastic job yesterday, and the most important thing is that we’re all safe and sound.”
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.