Tegan and Luke Nixon lost their home in the Cobraball fires last November.
Tegan and Luke Nixon lost their home in the Cobraball fires last November.

Businesses rally to replace couple’s home

LUKE and Tegan Nixon had only moved into their home in April 2019, just six months before a fire tore through it.

The young couple, Luke, 33, and Tegan, 32, were among the 15 homeowners who lost their homes in the Cobraball/Bungundarra bushfires in November.

All up, it was estimated 41 structures were lost and 12,000 hectares of vegetation was destroyed.

The Nixons lost almost everything from their Preston Rd property, the sheds, caravans, their home and its contents.

The only thing that survived was the pool - even the pool fencing melted - but somehow the shell survived.

“It was just a bare block of dirt with a pool on it... the heat just wasn’t enough for it (the pool),” Luke said.

Luke couldn't put into words what it was like when he saw the devastation of his property the first time.

“You are heartbroken, you’ve lost everything you’d worked for in the past 15 years,” he said.

Luke was contacted by Tim Rivett who had been in touch with Colin Strydom, who had gathered a group of people to build the couple a new home.

“I couldn’t believe it at the start,” Luke said.

The Nixons have been able to chose all of the details for their new home and Colin has prepared 3D designs and layouts which Luke said had been great.

With the pool the only part that could be saved, they are going to keep it and have been working around it.

A new home wasn’t part of their plan when they bought the property last year.

“We had no plans of building a new house, we decided we would settle there,” Luke said.

What drew the couple to the home was the location, being out of town and on a one hectare block.

The home was built 20 years ago and was a brick Colonial style.

“We loved the space, the land and how the house was set around the pool,” Luke said.

Thankfully, the couple did have home insurance which meant they were partly covered.

However they had done extensive renovations which they had not updated in the policy.

The new internal paint, internal carpet, full ensuite, three-bay shed and 12x8m patio extension wasn’t covered.

Luke said their insurer Elders Insurance, had been good to deal with and after two months they had finalised their claim.

The couple is now living in a duplex in town as they don’t have any equipment to look after a yard. They hope to put up a shed in the next month or so and the house could be built in six months.

“We can’t wait, we just want to get out of town again,” Luke said.

Luke wanted to express his extreme gratitude and thanks to all those involved in helping, volunteering their time and donating their services to help himself and his wife.