Yarloop fire: Drummer Howie Johnstone heads home with his donated house

Howie Johnstone waited months for the moment he could finally return home to Yarloop.

With his new "castle" on two trucks bound for the small West Australian town that was razed by a bushfire in January, the drummer could not contain his relief.

"I'm over the moon. This gives me hope, this gives me a chance," he said.

Mr Johnstone lost almost everything he owned in the blaze that devastated Yarloop and claimed two lives.

Uninsured and left with a mortgage on his burnt-out block in McDowell Street, he was facing an uncertain future.

That was until Mandurah builder Phil Jenner offered Mr Johnstone a house.

Phil Jenner stands in front of a house on a semi-trailer.


"We were going to have to demolish the building, so the costs of demolishing it were the same as the costs of cutting it up and getting it ready for Howie," Mr Jenner said.

"So we thought, why not give it to Howie rather than throw it down the tip?"

The only catch was moving the 75-year-old building 60 kilometres from Mandurah to Yarloop, but an appeal for a "white knight" prompted some remarkable generosity.

Two benefactors donated the $30,000 required, with friends, businesses and tradesmen chipping in to help.

"I couldn't have done it without their help and generosity, especially my best mate ...Without [that], I wouldn't have done this," Mr Johnstone said.

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Story courtesy of the ABC.