Vier kinderen bijna gedood toen een iPhone-lader in vlammen opsloeg en hun huis overspoeld

Vier kinderen bijna gedood toen een iPhone-lader in vlammen opsloeg en hun huis overspoeld

september 16, 2019 0 Door admin


A mother-of-four says her children are lucky to be alive after an iPhone charger exploded in her Perth home, leaving them just minutes to run for their lives.

Melodie Gangell, 39, and her family lost everything they owned in the fire which started when an extension cord was plugged into the wall socket, and linked to an iPhone charger.  

Within minutes, flames filled their home in Noranda, about 10km north of the Perth CBD.

Now she is urging people to learn from her near-fatal mistake.  

‘I do it all the time, my 15-year-old daughter does it… the phone wasn’t even plugged in at the time,’ she said. 

‘We all do it… we plug things in, think “oh that doesn’t reach, I’ll just get an extension cord” – how many times have we plugged our phone in then grabbed it and just left?’   

Melodie Gangell, 39, and her four children lost everything in a house fire on Thursday (pictured), caused by an  extension cord linked to an iPhone charger

Ms Gangell was at work and her four children, aged 9-18, were at home when the blaze broke out.

She said her eldest child had heard two loud popping noises coming from their front lounge room and gone to investigate. 

Her son Kale, 18, headed in to check on the noise, but before he got there, a third pop sounded and the wall socket burst into flames. 

‘He knew straight away the fire was electrical and he couldn’t put it out,’ Ms Gangell said. 

‘He grabbed my nine-year-old son and basically threw him out the door.’

Her two daughters, aged 15 and 12, were also able to escape, with one forced to climb out her brother’s bedroom window when the smoke became too thick to navigate. 

Ms Gangell (pictured with her family) said the house was engulfed within minutes, and praised her children for getting each other out safely

Firefighters told Ms Gangell they could not see any source other than the socket in their front room, which only had an extension cord linked to an iPhone charger plugged in. 

‘Whether it overheated or anything, I don’t know,’ she said. 

‘From what I’ve heard from the neighbours, it was literally five minutes and the whole house was engulfed.’

Ms Gangell and her children have not yet been able to access the property, but photographs taken by her partner Ben, who was able to quickly walk through before the property was fenced off, show the utter devastation. 

Paint on the walls – where they still exist – has turned black, and the floor is covered in roof tiles and a thick layer of soot. 

Ms Gangell said she is still processing all that has happened, and said while using an extension cord for a phone charger is not uncommon, she won’t be doing it again.    

She said firefighters believed the extension cord was to blame for the blaze, which burned all of her family’s possessions and left their home uninhabitable

The Perth woman is now fundraising to help her and her children start all over again

The family of five are currently squeezed into Ms Gangell’s partner’s home, which he shares with a housemate, and are desperately fundraising to be able to afford to start over from scratch. 

‘Like lots of others doing it tough as a single parent, they could not afford and did not have contents insurance,’ their GoFundMe page reads.

‘They now have nothing other than the clothes they had on today and their two dogs.’

The mother-of-four said she has been overwhelmed with offers of free furniture and clothing collections set up for her family through local community and single parenting groups on Facebook. 

Despite the help, Ms Gangell said there are some things that can not be replaced. 

‘It really hit me – I have a blanket from my grandma, and I know that’s gone and that was the only thing I have of her left,’ she said. 

‘I’ve stayed really strong and really calm and just kept going, because that’s what you do when you have children, you stay strong and you don’t break.

‘It may seem silly, but when it’s the only thing you have of someone and you just think – oh my god it’s gone.’

Ms Gangell said the experience had left her committed to being more vigilant when it comes to safety, and warns everybody should take the same approach.   

‘I guess just monitor [power cords] – don’t leave it turned on, plugged in and just sitting there,’ she said.  

‘Turn everything off – take the extra two seconds. 

‘And make sure you tell people you love them and you care about them, and don’t worry about the silly stuff – this has been a big eye opener.’ 

Ms Gangell said everyone should be more aware of what’s happening in their home, and should never leave power cords on and unattended  

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