Once, when I was a teenager, my parents went away for night and left me, my older brother and my younger sister at home. It somehow came to be that it was my duty to cook dinner (most likely just reheating leftovers). We were burning incense on the kitchen windowsill, for whatever reason, and I accidentally threw the tea towel on top of it. It burst in to flames but I was able to quickly pull it in to the sink and put it out.
That is the closest I have ever, and hopefully will ever, come to a house fire.
Some people aren’t so lucky. In the early hours of 27 June 1998, Linda was involved in a tragic house fire in Sydney’s northern suburbs. Just six months after finishing high school, she was 18 years old and excited about the future. Linda suffered debilitating physical and cognitive injuries. The doctors advised her parents to look for a suitable care home where Linda could live out her life in a vegetative state … Linda had other ideas.
When she ‘woke up’ two months later, she not only had to deal with her severe injuries, but also the realisation that her sister Kim, only 16 at the time, had passed away in the fire.
Since then, with the loving support of her family, Linda has undergone intensive rehabilitation and had to re-learn how to do everything again – walk, talk and even swallow. Whilst many of these day to day tasks remain a challenge, the strength of her handshake is now only one example of how strong this girl really is.
More than 14 years on, Linda is working to prevent others from facing similar ordeals. Speaking publicly and as the face of the Fire & Rescue NSW Winter Fire Safety Campaign, Linda has been raising awareness of the importance of fire safety.
Please, take the Home Fire Safety Audit. Learn how you can keep your house and loved ones safe.
Disclaimer:This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fire & Rescue NSW. The opinions are purely my own.