Strangers help fire victims get fresh start
A Blenheim woman and her three young children are looking forward to a fresh start after a fire destroyed their home a week ago.
Kaleena Pettersson, who is almost eight months pregnant, was overwhelmed with the support she received from strangers.
On Thursday last week she and her three children, aged 6, 4 and 2, watched as flames ripped through their Henderson St home.
The fire was started by her six-year-old son who had been playing with a lighter under his bed, Ms Pettersson said.
Everything in the home was destroyed. Ms Pettersson did not have contents insurance.
On Monday, Housing New Zealand gave her the keys to her new home.
She estimated about 70 people, most of whom she didn't know, had donated items to fill her house.
"It's like a fresh start," Ms Pettersson said. "Everything is almost sorted now."
She was incredibly grateful for all the help she had been given, she said.
"You know all these kind people are out there, and it makes you realise people care."
Donated items included two couches, three TVs, kitchenware, linen, a vacuum cleaner and an organ. Her mother, Kaylene Herriott, said a friend of hers had stayed up on Thursday night after the fire to crotchet a baby shawl.
"I cried yesterday," Ms Herriott said.
"People were so lovely, strangers that we didn't even know."
- The Marlborough Express