A SOUTH Tamworth mother-of-four has recounted the gut-wrenching moment she learned her home had been destroyed by fire, choking back tears as she declared “we’ve got nothing left”.
Tanielle Cutmore, her partner Raymond Berry and their four children – aged 11 to 16 – were staying with relatives in Sydney when the suspicious blaze ripped through their Doonba St rental home on Easter Saturday.
“I just broke down crying when I got the call from police. That was our whole life in there,” Ms Cutmore said.
“We’ve got nothing left, just the few sets of clothes we brought with us.
“It’s just so devastating. We worked so hard to get everything we have and someone just takes it away like that.”
Crime scene police have seized a number of suspicious items from the brick and weatherboard home, with fears rising it may have been an arson attack.
“I was the last to walk out and there was certainly nothing suspicious then,” Ms Cutmore said.
“It seems like if a house is left vacant for more than 24 hours there and it’s not boarded up, kids will get in and trash it.”
Ms Cutmore, a cleaner for the disabled and elderly, and Mr Berry, a teacher’s aide at Hillvue Public School, have volunteered for a host of organisations over the years, including as managers of the popular Midnight Basketball competition.
Their home was rented through the Aboriginal Lands Council and the family did not have contents insurance.
“You just don’t think it will happen to you,” Ms Cutmore said.
“We wanted to make sure our kids had what we didn’t in life and to see it go like this is a feeling that’s hard to explain.”
Among the many possessions lost, it was a solitary photo of her late father that upset Ms Cutmore most.
“Dad died when I was two and I only had one photo of him,” she said.
“It’s also all the baby photos and the other special things.”
Ms Cutmore and Mr Berry will return to see the charred remains of their home today, while their children will remain in Sydney for the rest of the week.
Friends have rallied behind the family, with an appeal to be established in the coming days.
Police confirmed to The Leader that the fire was being treated as suspicious.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.