A DEVASTATING fire in Queensland has left a Blackburn-born mother-of-two and her family homeless.

But the family of Sophie McLennan, 27, and partner Craig have been cheered by the generosity of supporters on both sides of the world as they look to rebuild their lives.

Campaigning regulars at The Clifton Arms, in Grimshaw Park, marshalled by landlady Carole Davis, are rallying behind the stricken couple, who have two daughters, Willow, five, and three-year-old Eva.

And an online appeal in Australia has yielded more than $16,000, after the McLennans’ home and car were destroyed by the blaze last Sunday.

Bob and Janet Coy, Sophie’s parents, had been over for a family reunion at the time and were also forced to flee.

Sophie’s sister Jessica, of Stanford Gardens, Blackburn, a teacher at Darwen Academy, said: “They literally walked out of there in the clothes they were wearing.

“It was heartbreaking for them as they didn’t have time to rescue anything.

“But the generosity of people in Blackburn, and over there, has been amazing.

“Even if it’s just getting some pyjamas for the kids or replacing their teddy bears, it will make a huge difference for them.

“The people at the pub are like one big family and everyone knows my mum and dad. They have been really brilliant.

“Mum and dad used to live around the corner and used to be customers there.”

An emergency fundraiser will take place tomorrow at The Clifton, featuring one of the stars of TV’s Benidorm, Chris Williams, who has waived his fee for the event.

Regulars have already raised £200 by handing around a charity football card, and a raffle and tombola are being arranged for the Saturday spectacular, with prizes still being sought by the organisers.

Carole, whose son Aaron is married to Jessica, added: “Christmas is just around the corner as well and they’ve been left with nothing. We’ve already made a start.

“Their insurance will not cover everything and we just wanted to help and let them know we are thinking about them.”

An electrical fault is believed to have caused the fire. While the couple were insured, they have been told that their cover will not replace all their prized possessions.

Sophie went travelling to Australia as a 17-year-old, later meeting Craig, a miner, before they settled down in Marian, a small town to the west of Mackay, in north-eastern Queensland.

One of the family’s close friends in Queensland, Anita Camilleri, set up a GoFundMe page in their name shortly after the fire.

She said: “With Christmas nearing, they are going to need a lot of support from friends, family and our wonderful community.”