A fire that destroyed a house at Grantham last week was just the latest incident in a run of bad luck for a family of three.
Fire had already engulfed the home of John and Barbara Collier and their grandson John on Back Ma Ma Road last Tuesday when firefighters arrived.
John and Barbara's daughter Vicki Brown said the family dog Tilly alerted her father, who had been working in the back shed.
"She broke down the fence - she is in there all day every day - and pushed her way through it to tell Dad the fire was happening. He stepped round and saw the fire," she said.
"Then the dog ran to the neighbours' house and barked until the man came out and made him follow her to see what was wrong and he came and helped Dad."
There is nothing but rubble left of what had been John and Barbara's home for the past 25 years.
Vicki said the family had faced numerous struggles since 2011.
"They got flooded out in 2011 and couldn't get to the house. Then Mum got diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy and chemo and radiation," she said.
"After she got diagnosed, Dad and John were going over a low-level bridge at Winwill and they got swept off when a fresh wave came through, so the car got swept 200m down the creek.
"Thank God John is a strong young man, because he dragged Dad out of the back window of the car and up a 15-foot embankment."
Unfortunately for the family, John senior had a stroke not long after that.
While they have suffered, they are thankful for the help they have received in the face of disaster. Vicki said they would like to thank the Church of the Latter Day Saints, St Vinnie's, Peter Webster Optometrist and the family and friends who have helped out.
NAME: CL BUCKLAND & VL BROWN ITF JM & BE COLLIER
ACCOUNT: 291318595 (ANZ)
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