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The charred aftermath of a fire has prevented Gretta Jamieson from returning to the Green Island home she has lived in for nearly 60 years.
The wooden Loudon St cottage was severely damaged in a fire when a neighbouring Kirkland St property was destroyed in an inferno on Friday, October 19.
Mrs Jamieson - oblivious to the drama unfolding - was out having lunch with friends at the time of the blaze.
"It was only when we came home and we found a police car blocking the street. We got to the bottom of Loudon St and it was all happening."
The 79-year-old, who had lived in the home for 58 years after moving into the property just months after she married, was told of the fire by a firefighter.
"You just go into shock when something like this happens."
Mrs Jamieson said the fire originally did not look too bad at her house and she asked if she could go inside, "but the fireman put his arm around me and said 'I am sorry, you can't'."
She had stayed with a friend since the fire, and was yet to return to her home to retrieve any possessions.
The house was insured but a decision concerning its future was yet to be made. An assessor had told her to buy what she needed and keep all receipts.
"I certainly did not go silly. I just got what I needed to see me through."
Mrs Jamieson said although the ordeal had been difficult, it was made easier with the assistance of the Fire Service, her insurance company and friends and family.
"Top marks to everyone."