Prokopec's Home Destroyed!
On Wednesday, 26 November the family home of the Prokopec family in Paringa was destroyed by fire. Please go to the FULL STORY published in The Murray Pioneer on 28 November.
Upon hearing this terrible news, the Adelaide Aces have set up an Appeal Fund to assist the family. Donations would be gratefully appreciated and can be sent to Adelaide Aces - Prokopec Appeal, PO Box 505, Morphett Vale, SA 5162.
Fire destroyed the two-storey home of Paringa's Prokopec family on Wednesday afternoon.
The prominent Riverland sporting family – which includes US major league baseballer Luke Prokopec – lost irreplacable sport memorabilia and personal items in the fire.
The damage bill from the blaze has been estimated at more than $350,000 by local police.
Homeowners Ken and Robin Prokopec were not at the property when the fire started.
Fire investigators believe overheated wiring from a computer inside the house was the cause of the blaze.
A group of houseboat passengers were the first to spot smoke and raised the alarm with fire crews at about 2.45pm.
Six crews, two CFS appliances each from Paringa and Monash and two MFS units from Renmark, attended the blaze, which gutted the brick and fibro home.
Ken and Robin's daughter Alice, 19, was on her way to Melbourne when the fire broke out. She returned home late Wednesday night.
Miss Prokopec said the community had rallied behind the family, offering financial and emotional support. She said teachers from Renmark High School raised $300 to donate to the family to help purchase clothing and other goods.
"Everyone's been really good about it and they have all offered to help us out."
Miss Prokopec said the family had lost antique furniture, including items made by her father Ken, in the fire.
Baby photos, personal documents and family memorabilia, including Ken's 13 Wesslink best and fairest baseball medals, were also lost.
"There are just so many things that are now missing, so many things that can't be replaced. A lot of that stuff was priceless."
Miss Prokopec's pet cat, Peppa, was also lost in the fire.
She said her family was now staying with family members in Cooltong.
CFS Chaffey group officer Raoul Otto de Grancy said there was little firefighters could do to save the home.
"The fire was observed from the river and the people who saw it came up from the river and then went to a neighbour's house to raise the alarm so it had probably been burning for about 20 minutes when fire crews arrived," Mr Otto de Grancy said.
"When crews arrived the house was fairly involved and shortly after their arrival the second storey fell in."
Mr Otto de Grancy said fire cause investigators had yesterday identified the cause of the fire as overheated wiring.
"A computer in the house was switched off at the computer but the power was left on at the wall. The cabling leading from the wall was bundled and it heated up."