A paramedic student says she has "lost everything" after a fire ripped through her Warrenheip unit, leaving her room uninhabitable.
Madison Sharp, 21, was staying at her boyfriend’s house when she got a call on Tuesday morning from her real estate agent, who told her there had been a fire at her flat.
The blaze, believed to be caused by a faulty phone charger, had destroyed all of Ms Sharp’s belongings, including her stethoscope, paramedic uniform, laptop, TV, bed, university textbooks and clothes.
“I’ve lost absolutely everything,” she said.
But when others would have fallen into anger, Ms Sharp saw a silver lining.
“I was walking through Kmart to buy clothes after the fire and I thought, nobody here knows I’ve just lost all my belongings,” she said.
“Then I realised, we often don’t know what people around us are going through until we ask.”
For now, Ms Sharp will stay at her boyfriend’s place while insurance assessors inspect the flat along Mahars Road.
She can’t salvage any mementos from the room as experts have deemed it unsafe to enter.
The fire gutted her entire bedroom, burning a hole through the roof.
CFA crews managed to contain the blaze before it spread to any other rooms, including her housemate’s, who was also not at home at the time of the incident.
Photos taken in the aftermath of the fire show her bed burnt to a crisp and blackened walls.
But Ms Sharp has plenty of mates in her corner.
Her friend Audrey Ramsey decided to set up a GoFundMe page to help Ms Sharp cover costs while she starts to rebuild her life.
“Maddy works at a hospital caring for others to support herself during her studies to become a paramedic and has lost so many of the things she has worked so hard for,” Ms Ramsey said.
“Anyone that knows Maddy knows what a caring and loving person she is.
“She goes out of her way to help others and approaches everything she does with kindness and humility.”
Despite losing everything, Ms Sharp was determined to move forward.
It is this resilience that will place her in good stead when she becomes a qualified paramedic.
“I can’t go back and change it now, it’s happened,” Ms Sharp said. “I have lovely friends and I’ve always wanted to help people.
“The only way is forward.”
Alternatively, go to GoFundMe’s website and type in the search box “Madison starts over”.