A mother’s worst nightmare

Jolene Brindle and her daughter Nalanya in front of their blackened home on Moorhead Street, Eden.
Jolene Brindle and her daughter Nalanya in front of their blackened home on Moorhead Street, Eden.

It was the last thing Jolene Brindle and her five children expected to wake up to on a Sunday morning. 

The distressing sound of a fire alarm and thick smell of smoke in the air of their home on Moorhead Street, Eden on July 8.

After lighting the stove and moving a pot of oil from the night before, Ms Brindle went to the toilet and came back to see her kitchen cabinets on fire and a burning pot on the bench. 

“I must have left a dribble of oil when I moved the pot, when I came out of the toilet the smoke alarm went off but I thought it was just from Stephanie lighting the fire.”

Sixteen-year-old Stephanie was spending time at Ms Brindle’s home, helping out by lighting the fire to warm the house. 

“I was thinking that she must have made the fire real smoky, so I went to check if she had done it right and it was all fine and normal. I then went into the kitchen and saw fire,” Ms Brindle said. 

Ms Brindle turned to see Stephanie with a bucket of water to throw on the growing blaze.

Within five minutes my house was completely on fire...

Jolene Brindle

“I grabbed her to take the bucket away, because I learnt the other night when I was cooking the kids nuggets and chips – when my spatula was wet after I washed it, the oil went crazy. So,  it was fresh in my mind not to put water on it.”

Ms Brindle’s two sets of twins aged three and four and her five-year-old daughter woke up from the sound of chaos. 

“I went into shock, because I had never been in a situation like this before.”

“My kids started running in all different directions of the house, I had to get them all to go out the front so none were trapped in the back yard,” she said.

Ms Brindle managed to gather her family outside, the only belonging in her possession was her phone to dial Triple-Zero (000).

“Once I saw my kids were safe I ran screaming for help, I was worried about the smoke and the neighbours homes catching on fire so I went banging on their doors to wake them up.

“Within five minutes my house was completely on fire, I couldn’t do anything so I sat there crying, watching the house burn,” she said.

Eden Fire and Rescue arrived to control the blaze, as well as other emergency services ready in assistance.

Ms Brindle and her family were left homeless for four days, recently signing a lease to a temporary housing commission property on the same street.

“I can’t believe that I am back in a house after four days, its just amazing. The community has been amazing, really getting behind me and giving so much support,” she said.

“It’s a temporary move up the same street – thank god we can’t see the house from here.”

Ms Brindle is now on a waiting list to move into the next four bedroom home that becomes available, hoping to move back into her original home of Moorhead once it is rebuilt.

Ms Brindle thanked her friends and the community for their support offering clothes, toys, firewood and vouchers to help buy necessities for her new home.

“I have been such a mess and in shock about it all, but my quote of the day that day was, ‘once there is a storm there is always a rainbow’, and look around me now – here is my rainbow.”

If you would like to help support Ms Brindle and her family, donations are accepted through visiting GoFundMe.

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Jolene Brindle and her daughter Nalanya moving into their new home on Wednesday, July 11.

Jolene Brindle and her daughter Nalanya moving into their new home on Wednesday, July 11.

This story A mother’s worst nightmare first appeared on Magnet.