Judith Swayn was lucky to escape when her house went up in flames in Wagin last Wednesday afternoon. Ms Swayn and her three daughters lost almost everything in the fire — Ms Swayn escaping only with the clothes she was wearing and her late husband’s ashes. The cause of the fire is undetermined but it is not being treated as suspicious. Ms Swayn had come back inside after hanging out the washing when she realised the fire had started. “It just happened so quick,” she said. “I couldn't even think. The only thing going through my head was that I needed to get out. I rushed out the back door and I could hear my neighbour screaming from out the front. She thought we were all still in the house, she was going to break down the front door.” Wagin Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service captain Ty Cook said the Swayns were outside the home and distraught when they arrived. “The house was fully engulfed and there wasn't much we could do,” he said. “We wish we could’ve saved the house but we were just happy to be able to save the ashes of Ms Swayn’s late husband, Terry.” Mr Cook said he could tell how much Terry’s ashes meant to the family. “The fireys out here are amazing,” Ms Swayn said. “We’re just so thankful that Ty saved Terry’s ashes. That was the one thing we really wanted to save.” Ms Swayn’s daughters Bobbie, Billie and Kate, were at work when the fire started. “I saw the fire trucks go past,” Billie said. “I thought to myself ‘that doesn’t look good’ and then my phone rang and it was my neighbour telling me our house was on fire.” “I thought oh, ‘OK, Mum’s probably cooked something and there’s a bit of a fire in the kitchen or something’. I told the girls at work I'd be back in half an hour. “I got home and saw the house, and let’s just say, I realised I wouldn't be back at work for a few days.” Eldest daughter Kate was at work at the childcare centre, holding the children up and pointing at the fire trucks, getting them to wave at the firefighters as they drove past. Those peaceful moments were interrupted by a phone call from a neighbour, saying she might want to come home. “That part of it is almost funny,” Kate said. “You have to laugh or you’ll cry.” The community rallied to help the family. People dropped off clothes, toiletries, hand-knitted socks and freshly baked bread. “We have had countless offers of places to stay, furniture to take and people just generally dropping everything for us,” Ms Swayn said. “Having lost absolutely everything, I never thought I'd be so excited about a toothbrush and a pair of socks.” The Wagin community has got behind a fundraising effort to help the family through their ordeal, with a GoFundMe account active and a fundraising event in the works. Katelin Murray is one of the organisers of the Support The Swayns fundraiser. “You wouldn't meet nicer people,” Ms Murray said. “They just really deserve so much to feel the love from the town at the moment.” Ms Murray said Wagin was a close and generous community. “I know if it were my family, someone would be doing something for us. It’s just what you do around here, you help each other out,” she said. At this stage the fundraiser at the Wagin District Club will involve live music, food, raffles, money boards and a live auction. All proceeds will go to the family. Ms Swayn said although they were still in shock about losing their home, the support was overwhelming. “When we heard about the fundraising event we all just burst into tears. It was just so moving,” Ms Swayn said. “That’s just what this town is like. “Someone breaks a leg or something and there’s a cake stall. But this fundraiser is just next level, we can’t believe it.” To make a donation, visit bit.ly/2Bghe8Y.