New life rises from the ashes of September devastation
THERE'S a light at the end of the tunnel for Brad and Coral Krahe.
The couple, who lost everything they ever owned on September 6, are edging closer to getting back into their own home.
Their previous McLeod Court home was left in ruin when the fires swept through the hillside the night of the devastating Stanthorpe fires.
From Brad's Harley Davidson to priceless family heirlooms and photographs, nothing but Brad, Coral and their pets were spared.
"We needed to paint the old place," Mrs Krahe said.
"I couldn't make a decision on what colour we wanted and every time I'd make a decision Brad thought it was horrible so at least we don't have to worry about that now," she joked.
Looking for the positives from tragedy has helped them through the past few months.
And now, out of the ashes, their new place is starting to take shape.
They'd resided in their old home for six years, but the house was pushing 40 years.
Now they get to not only remain on their block of land, but build a brand new house to replace it.
"Wes (Smith) and Dixon Homes have been trying to get in and get it done as quick as possible for us," Mrs Krahe said.
After the fires, a stranger was kind enough to help find them shelter. Then they moved into a rental.
Now they're hoping to be in their beautiful new home some time in April.
"I can't wait to get in," Mrs Krahe said.
Understandably, the loss of irreplaceable items still hits where it hurts.
"Photos of the grandkids and stuff from Coral's parents, my parents and grandparents … you can't replace that which is a downer but you've got to move on and at the end of the day nobody lost their lives," Mr Krahe said.
"It's no good looking backwards. We'll make new memories here."
The night of Friday, September 6 remains a bit of a blur for the pair.
Brad was travelling home from Ipswich, completely unaware of what was unfolding in the area.
"As soon as I heard from Coral I sculled a coffee and pushed it hard to get home."
Coral had retreated to safer surrounds in the CBD.
It wasn't until the early hours of Saturday morning, when the pair were sat together in the car, that reality set in.
"We were sitting there and just looked at each other and I think in that moment we knew our house and everything was gone.
"There was just that gut feeling," Mr Krahe said.
They've been aided through the worst of it by friends, family and the community.
Burton and Sons Bi-Rite gave them appliances, Repco handed over some tools, Amcal Pharmacy donated items and lots of others have chipped in to support them.
"It's been overwhelming to be honest," Mrs Krahe said.
"We actually used to get really upset because we felt like a charity case.
"Everyone's been so wonderful and done so much for us."
Thankfully for the couple, insurance has covered most of the rebuild.