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Firefighters spread the gift of giving this Christmas, Commander Kevin Eckermann explains on 5RM

Commander Kevin Eckermann from the SAMFS explains to 5RM this morning, the story of a former Renmark man who's mother lost everything in a house fire 30 years ago, is now helping a Riverland resident to rebuild after experiencing a devastating house fire.

The Renmark man is now a firefighter and he and his mother are giving back generosity, which is being facilitated by the Australian Professional Firefighters Foundation (APFF) charity, whose members consist of Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) and Aviation Rescue Firefighters (ARFF) who volunteer their time. Country Fire Service (CFS) firefighters are also assisting. In the early hours of 14 November 2018, the CFS and MFS responded to triple zero calls reporting a house fire at Winkie near Berri. The home, which was well ablaze when firefighters arrived, could not be saved resulting in an estimated $80,000 worth of fire damage. Around the same time, MFS Station Officer Paul McIntosh’s mother was moving into aged care, selling her house and wishing to donate her household items. “I approached the APFF in regards to donating Mum’s furniture, white goods and kitchen items to families who may have been affected by fire. That’s when I was told about the incident in the Riverland where the occupant was left with nothing,” explained Station Officer McIntosh. “Back in 1989 – 1990 my parents lost their house and belongings in an arson attack. With the help of generous friends and family they managed to get back on track and rebuild what they lost. Having been in a similar situation, I knew my mum would be more than happy to help,” MFS Station Officer McIntosh continued. The APFF is also donating vouchers worth $1000 to assist with Christmas gifts and will be paying for the cost to deliver the furniture and other items.