Michael and Christina Tanzer and their family were headed off on a holiday of a lifetime in September this year. A photo sits on their windowsill at home of their eldest son on the Kuranda train, and they planned to reproduce that photo with their nine-year-old daughter Stephanie.
“We were only hours away from it,” Christina said. “We drove all day Saturday and Sunday. Monday morning we’re about to get in (their son) Aaron’s car to go chasing waterfalls, see the Babinda Boulders and Millaa Millaa falls and all those things I’ve been wanting to see all my life. And yep, instead of that, the neighbours are ringing and telling us ‘The caravan is alight in your shed right now’. We had to pack up and come home.”
Sadly, Michael and Christina lost almost everything in that fire. They lost their massive shed with electricity in it, 40 solar panels, Christina’s 21-year-old car, their 2012 truck with its bullbar, spotties and two-way.
“We saved the trailer, didn’t burn. The tractor was on the outside of the shed, didn’t burn. That’s all we had left,” Christina said. “All our farming machinery is all gone. All our tools are all gone.”
A beloved pet was also lost in the fire.
“Michael had a pet bird and it talked and it swore, it was his mate,” Christina said. But sadly, it didn’t survive.
“Shovels, tape measures, everything we needed to start again, we had to race to town and go and buy another one. Everything was gone and now we’re starting all over again,” Christina said, her voice breaking with emotion. “Ten weeks and no income.” The Tanzers’ property was underinsured and the loss of their shed, truck and equipment has been devastating for them.
“A lot of people don’t even know what’s happened to us. We had a customer here this morning, ‘Where’ve you been? Where’ve you been?’”
However, those who knew what had happened to this local family, have been supportive, with a Go Fund Me page set up in a bid to help them get back on their feet.
“What has helped us the most,” Christina said, “is we have people talking to us, messaging us and supporting us and we can see that our customers are missing us. That’s what drove us to get back. And now we need the town more than ever, more than ever, to support us.”
If you would like to help the Tanzers, they are back selling fresh, farm produce, sourced in Central Queensland, this morning, in their usual spot on Gladstone Rd, opposite the Bowls Club.
While their lines are limited due to not having a shed or electricity, they have plenty of pumpkins, seedless watermelons, juicy pineapples from Yeppoon, farm eggs, honey and sweet potatoes for sale.
Tanzers Farm Fresh Fruit and Vegetables will be in Biloela every day except Sunday and Michael and Christina would love you to stop by, say hello and pick up some fresh produce.