Brian and Jacqui Harrison and their seven children, Mackenzie, Jai, Aria, Zafirah, Veruca, Levi, and Eli, lost their family home to a devastating fire overnight on Saturday night, November 18, and the early hours of Sunday, November 19.
They gave their friend Jenny Oliver permission to speak to the Wimmera Mail-Times, Stawell Times, and Ararat Advertiser.
Ms. Oliver has organised a go-fund-me page to help the family.
"One of the children woke his parents on Saturday night after smelling and seeing smoke in the house," Ms Jenny Oliver said.
"The fire took hold in minutes; they only had time to get out, leaving with only the clothes on their backs," she said.
They ran barefoot from the fire, unable to save anything.
The family lost five of their beloved pets, and one that escaped received terrible burns, which will need ongoing treatment.
"Unfortunately, no insurance covers their loss due to financial circumstances.
"They have been notified the home must be demolished within the month," she said.
The bank holds the mortgage on the home.
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"The family is shell-shocked at the moment; they've lost everything.
"The children are very upset about their pets that died in the fire," she said.
About three-quarters of the home was burnt, and the remainder is water damaged; no possession could be recovered.
The Ararat Rural City Shire employs Mr. Harrison, but Mrs. Harrison, a music teacher, lost all her guitars, music, and resources, so she cannot continue teaching.
The Shire has provided accommodation for Mr and Mrs Harrison and four children aged 11 to 19 until this Friday, but they must leave by 11 am.
They have no further prospects of housing due to the ongoing housing shortage in the region.
The family may be split up, with individual family members housed privately if a house cannot be found for them.
The money from this fundraiser will be used to cover demolition, rebuild their lives, and get a roof over their heads.
"Most of you will know Brian from the shire and his community interests, and Jacqui is a music teacher at a lot of local schools and has her own music studio as well as being a creator of crafts, one of these being making Halti collars and leads for Annies's dog training.
"The children have been involved in many local enterprises, especially Zaf, who was involved in the Gateway Festival Queen fundraising quest.
"I'm asking the people of Ararat and surrounds to open their hearts and their wallets to give to this family," she said.
The Stawell Vet is taking care of the surviving pet's injuries.
The CFA attended the blaze, the cause of the fire hasn't been confirmed.