On Friday night, David’s parents’ house in Grafton was destroyed by fire. No one was hurt in the blaze, and we can see the beauty rising from these ashes as the adversity brings family members together.

We drove back down south this weekend to offer our help and so the girls could see Rosie. The Fishers had organised for local help, and we couldn’t do much because we were bound to first wait for the insurance company’s bureaucratic process to be satisfied.

Parked outside the Grafton house, November 2010
We parked outside the Grafton house and set up camp on the front lawn.

From the front of the property, the house looks intact. The front living room and garage have not been touched by the flames, and the façade is higher than the back of the house. After the roof’s peak, the roof is collapsed, many rooms are destroyed and even the concrete-block walls have cracked from the extreme heat.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
We looked around the devastation very carefully.

Grafton housefire, November 2010
The back bedrooms are gutted.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
This is the guest bedroom where we slept a week ago. (The rubble in the corner is where the bed was.)

Grafton house fire, November 2010
The fire didn't extend to most of the master bedroom, but as the roof collapsed, it damaged the contents.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
With many internal walls made of concrete blocks, in some rooms fire was largely contained to the ceiling.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
Some furniture miraculously survived the inferno.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
A bright spot among the ashes.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
The fridge was completely melted. It was originally surrounded by wooden cabinets which completely burned away, and the debris was removed by police forensics who were searching for the cause of the fire.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
A collections of cleaning products stored under the kitchen sink.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
Many beautiful pictures were destroyed.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
After they had contained the blaze, the firemen broke the locks on the external doors to enter the premises and search for occupants. Thankfully, no one was home at the time.

The house is usually only occupied by David’s father, and Woodoo was still down on the Central Coast, staying with his sister. He travelled away from home this week for the funeral of his mother who died on October 21.

Visiting the Grafton house after the fire, November 2010
We're standing in the remains of the kitchen area.

After completing their investigation, the police forensics team reported that the fire started in the kitchen behind the stove. It was caused by an electrical fault, likely the result of poor wiring.

Grafton house fire, November 2010
If you look closely, it looks like there's a face in the rubble, but it's just a ceramic mask that was stored in one of the cupboards.

Grafton house after the fire, November 2010
The front living room escaped the flames, but the furnishings were damaged by soot, smoke and water from the firemens' hoses.

Many of the family’s photo albums were stored behind the concrete bar in the living room, and so they survived. Although many other precious belongings were destroyed, the Fishers remain prosaic about their loss.

Brioni with a moth, November 2010
The girls enjoyed roaming in the garden, and Brioni found this beautiful moth.

Playing in the pool at Grafton, November 2010
And then the girls were back in the pool.

Delaney, 10 months old, + Calista, 2yo, November 2010
Even Delaney wanted to splash around a bit!

The girls enjoyed spending time with Woodoo and Namma again. They wandered around the garden, picking flowers with Namma, providing a welcome distraction from her dealings with the insurance agency!