Friday, February 6, 2009

One HELL of a week!

I had a bit of a distraction this week to stop me from being TOO CRANKY about not having a writing project at the moment (although I still managed a minor tantrum last night).

I live in a small town (2000-ish people) in regional Western Australia, where my hubby is the Supermarket Manager of the local Co-operative (yep, we still have one). 9.30 Tuesday night, I'd just fed and settled my baby and, being addicted to my computer (well the net more to the point), I was sitting in bed with my lap-top. Hubby had just come out the shower when I suddenly smelt something burning. It was only slight and my first thought was my beloved laptop. We both sniffed it a bit and were happy enough that it wasn't about to blow up... BUT the smell was getting stronger in the air.

Then we thought about our oldest sons, who (because the air-con had broken down) had an old fan spinning in their hot room. We both dashed there but thank God that wasn't on fire. So Craig popped his head outside and shouted 'I think it's coming from the co-op.' He jumped in the car and screeched down the road. We don't live far away (neither does my mum) so I asked her to watch the boys and then I ran down the street in my pjs. I arrived about the same time as the local volunteer fire brigade to watch (along with half the town, also in pjs) my hubby's pride and joy (he loves retail) and our livlihood going up in smoke!!

See pics below - nothing was salvageable and now Craig is busy planning for a new store. Thank God for insurance!

The Burning Building...

The Aftermath...

Despite this absolute disaster for our town (many people have losts jobs and the local hub is no longer), the whole community has come together to look after each other. In the middle of the night, local cafe owners opened their kitchens to provide for the volunteers. My hubby sent his Wednesday delivery to the OTHER supermarket to service the town and trust me, this is something that would NEVER happen between major chains in the city. Other businesses are offering jobs to co-op staff who'll be out of work until the new store is built.

It's been absolutely heart-warming to see all this community spirit! I can now see why small town settings are so special in Romance novels!!


Serena said...

Oh what a terrible tragedy and what a wonderful, heart-warming reaction. It's great that the locals look after their own. You're right - this wouldn't happen in suburbia.

Hope the new store is up and running very soon.

Jackie Ashenden said...

Wow, sounds like you had a terrible week! Poor you guys! But your little town sounds fantastic. Isn't it amazing how people pull together like that?

I hope it all works out, Rach and that a new store is built real quick.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Oh Rach - how horrible for you and your family and the town. Thank goodness for volunteers and for people banding together. I hope the new store is up and running in no time. Hugs.
E x

Lorraine said...

Sounds like an awful week Rachael, at least no one was hurt in the fire.

Having lived in cities and small commnities I know which one I'd pick to be in if anything bad happened!

I hope things get back to normal for you soon.

Christina Phillips said...

Oh Rach (((Hugs)))I hope it doesn't take too long for the new store to be built and operational.

The people in your town sound lovely.


Lucy said...

How awful, Rach. But what a wonderful community you live in. Hope you're all ok.

Suzanne said...

A terrible thing to have happened, but I'm glad everyone rallied round for you.

Sami Lee said...

So sorry bout your bad luck Rach. I love how the laptop was your first thought, even before the kids' fans! Hope the rebuild goes well.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

I'm just glad you guys are okay and it wasn't the house etc. And yes, thank heavens for insurance.
Keep well,

Suz :)