Family sell block after house fire that nearly killed them

TWO years after a terrifying incident at their Brookwater home the Wilmot family have had a little piece of closure.

Recently the land where the family's Birchwood Cres home used to stand was sold thanks to McGrath Estate Agents principals Tracey Caruna and Steve Hodgson - who offered to sell the property free of charge.

The house was demolished after it was completely gutted by a fire that was started when Neil De Graaf drove his car into the house and set it and himself alight on November 14, 2016.

April Wilmot walks through what's left of her family home a week after the fire.
April Wilmot walks through what's left of her family home a week after the fire.

Inside was the Wilmot family, mother Tracey and siblings April and Shannon and Shannon's girlfriend at the time.

They managed to escape the fire, however Mr De Graaf died in hospital after receiving burns to 90 per cent of his body.

April Wilmot had ended a relationship with De Graaf the year before the incident and had current domestic violence orders against him at the time.

While the family are happy to have survived they are still haunted by the events of that night.

"The sale of the block is the first step towards closure after two years," April Wilmot said.

"We are so thankful Tracey put her time and effort into making this happen for us.

"This enables my mum to purchase a permanent home.

"The fallout of this event has been life changing emotionally, financially and practically, with our living arrangements thus far.

"Learning to live with PTSD has been no easy feat, however the miracle that we all survived will always astound us."


The Wilmot home is demolished after the fire.
The Wilmot home is demolished after the fire.

Ms Caruna said she was happy to help the family who lost everything in the fire.

"Steve and I were having dinner that night and heard the sirens," Ms Caruna said.

"Sometime after I was approached to help the family sell the land due to the significant financial and emotional distress that they were under.

"At this time I approached April, the daughter involved and offered to help.

"For family reasons they had to sell through the Public Trustee however after some time there was no result.

"I was able to source some sponsorship from my suppliers and able to sell the land for them for free.

"The land was sold to a local family and sold for the listed price of $320,000.

"Great result for the family and also the new owners.

"It's small for us to help one person sell a block of land in the big picture.

"It's been nice to be able to obtain a good result for them and also allow the family to have closure."


A week after the fire the family visited the charred remains.
TERRIFYING NIGHT: The Birchwood Cres home was completely destroyed in the fire.

Now Ms Wilmot hopes to one day work with domestic violence victims.

For domestic violence help phone the Domestic Violence Action Centre on 3816 3000 or visit