Generous Karratha couple struck by disaster as fire destroys their possessions and family memories

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Kathryn and Terry Swetman lost their belongings and family memories when a fire burnt down their shed.
Camera IconKathryn and Terry Swetman lost their belongings and family memories when a fire burnt down their shed.

A Karratha couple who spent decades volunteering with emergency services lost most of their belongings when their shed burnt down on January 23.

Terry and Kathryn Swetman were building their retirement home in Chittering, north of Perth.

The pair, who are well known in the Pilbara town for their combined 45 years with the State Emergency Service, had a shed on the block of land containing furniture, appliances, tools, lighting, solar panels, a hot water system, water tanks and a ride-on mower.

Also in the shed were heirlooms and irreplaceable items.

It could not be covered by insurance until the house was built.

The Swetman family have created a Go Fund Me page to support the couple, who have dedicated their lives to helping others in their community, with a goal of $15,000.

Mr Swetman has volunteered at the Karratha SES for 30 years, while his wife volunteered for 15 years and worked as a nurse at Nickol Bay Hospital.

One of the couple’s three children, Ebony Swetman, described her parents as hardworking and generous.

“Our family has never asked for anything like this before, but this is going to be hard to come back from, so we’re asking the Karratha community to give back to a couple that have literally given up their best years in service as volunteers,” she said.

“They’re wonderful people who would do anything to help anyone in need.”

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