Coast mum helped others 24 hours before house fire 'took everything'
NIKKI Cooper loves helping others and admits she doesn't know how to accept help too well, but she's been forced to do so after her home went up in flames.
Ms Cooper had been doing what she loved on Sunday afternoon, volunteering at the For the Boys car show, a fundraiser for the families of Coast dads Kurt Bull and Daniel King who tragically died in a speedway crash last month.
Now Ms Cooper is the subject of a Gofundme page set up, as the community rallies around the young mother and her two sons, Malakai, 13, and Cillian, 6.
They were woken by smoke alarms at about 7.30am Monday, as a fire believed to have started on the deck at the rear of their Utah St, Aroona home engulfed the house.
Ms Cooper went into survival mode, getting her two sons and their 14-year-old friend out before rescuing the family dog which was tied up at the back of the house where the fire broke out.
The house was insured as it was a rental property, but Ms Cooper had no contents insurance.
They escaped with only the clothes on their backs.
She said the fire had taken their clothes and everything from football trophies to memories, with extensive smoke and water damage throughout after the fire entered the ceiling space.
Long-time family friend Ryan Cobb, who organised the For the Boys show, has set up a Gofundme page to help Nikki and her sons rebuild their lives after the blaze.
Almost $2000 had been raised overnight last night and he'd had about 25 messages via email and social media offering donations of anything from crockery to TV cabinets and bedding.
"The response was pretty overwhelming so far," Mr Cobb said.
"She spent her weekend helping out other families in need.
"She's always the first person to put her hand up to help out."
Mr Cobb said Ms Cooper was a regular helper, volunteering in first aid at the local footy club and was a Shave For a Cure organiser.
Ms Cooper was stunned at the level of support this morning, unable to process what had happened in the last 24 hours.
"The outpouring of donations has been amazing," she said.
"It's overwhelming. I can't process everything at this moment.
"Twenty-four hours ago I was watching my house burn to the ground.
"I'm just trying to stay strong for the boys. It's just another bump in the road.
"We'll just rebuild. We've got each other, that's all that matters."
She said they had short-term accommodation sorted with family friends and her adopted mother and they would be staying locally, so the boys could stay at their current schools.
Ms Cooper was grateful for all the support she'd been given since the devastating blaze.
"The Sunshine Coast is an amazing place," she said.
Fire investigators were still working to pinpoint the cause of the blaze late yesterday.
Donations can be made via the Gofundme page (Help Nikki Recover From The Fire) and anyone who would like to donate goods should email Mr Cobb directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.