Ruby, Melanie Wohlers’s dog, was rescued by firefighters in a house fire last month prompting the Romsey resident to organise a fundraiser for her town’s CFA brigade. ​

By Tricia Mifsud

A ROMSEY resident who lost her home to a house fire just a week before Christmas is expressing her gratitude to Romsey Fire Brigade for saving her dog by coordinating a GoFundMe fundraiser.

Melanie Wohlers was out celebrating her work Christmas party when she received a call at about 11pm from the man who recently renovated her kitchen. Thinking it was an accidental call, Ms Wohlers initially ignored the call. 

“It was my last day of work and I had organised to have a drink with friends, and like I always do, left Ruby (Ms Wohler’s dog) in the house to sleep the night away,” she said.

“I saw a phone call from the guy that renovated my kitchen recently and I just thought [the wrong] dial, as it was 11 at night. I went back to what I was doing, and half an hour later there were two missed calls and that’s when I realised something was not right.

“The neighbours had their kitchen done by Brad as well, so they called him to see if he had my number so they could tell me what was going on. I wasn’t friends with the neighbours on Facebook so I didn’t receive a notification either for a message they tried to send me about what was going on.”

Ms Wohlers immediately made her way home, to find that although her house had fallen to the fire, her treasured Ruby was in the arms of the CFA volunteers and neighbours.

Firefighters and neighbours had initially thought they were rescuing both Ruby and Ms Wohler, who had left her car at the residence, resulting in attendees believing she was home at the time of the fire.

Grateful for all their efforts, Ms Wohler created a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money for the brigade.

“They saved my dog and she is my world and I just wanted to do something to say thank you. I didn’t give it a second thought, from my side, they saved the most important thing in the house,” she said.

“The other reason was, a lot of my family and friends wanted to help and were offering things like furniture but it’s covered by insurance and the house will get rebuilt.

“There really is nothing that I needed, so I thought if everyone wanted to try and help, let’s try and help a group that has helped others so much.”

Ms Wohlers said if she had learnt anything from losing her home, it was the importance of having smoke alarms installed and urged others to make sure they had working alarms in their homes.

“I had just renovated, and painted the roof of the house. I had purchased smoke alarms but had not put them up. If I had my time again, I wish I had them up,” she said.

People who would like to donate to Ms Wohler’s fundraiser for the Romsey Fire Brigade can visit https://gofund.me/ba9eaf64.