A mother of four says her children are lucky to live after an iPhone charger explodes in her home in Perth, leaving them only a few minutes to run for their lives.
Melody Gangell, 39, and her family lost everything they owned in the fire that started when an extension cord was connected to the power outlet and connected to an iPhone charger.
Within minutes, flames filled their home in Noranda, about 10 km north of the CBD of Perth.
Now she urges people to learn from her almost fatal mistake.
& # 39; I always do it, my 15-year-old daughter does it … the phone wasn't even connected back then & # 39 ;, she said.
& # 39; We all do it … we put things in, think "oh, that doesn't reach, I just get an extension cord" – how many times have we connected our phone and then packed up and left? & # 39;
Melodie Gangell, 39, and her four children lost everything on Thursday in a house fire (photo), caused by an extension cord attached to an iPhone charger
Mrs. Gangell was working and her four children, ages 9-18, were home when the fire broke out.
She said her eldest child had heard two loud popping sounds from their living room and had investigated.
Her son Kale, 18, went in to check the sound, but before he got there, a third bang sounded and the socket burst into flames.
& # 39; He immediately knew the fire was electric and he could not put it out, & # 39; said Mrs. Gangell.
& # 39; He grabbed my nine-year-old son and actually threw him out the door. & # 39;
Her two daughters, 15 and 12 years old, were also able to escape, with one forced to climb out of her brother's bedroom window when the smoke became too thick to navigate.
Mrs. Gangell (pictured with her family) said the house was flooded within minutes and praised her children for getting away from each other safely
Firefighters told Mrs. Gangell that they could see no other source than the connection in their front room, which only had an extension cord connected to an iPhone charger.
& # 39; Whether it's overheated or something, I don't know, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; From what I've heard from the neighbors, it was literally five minutes and the whole house was flooded. & # 39;
Mrs. Gangell and her children have not yet had access to the property, but photos taken by her partner Ben, who was able to quickly walk through it before the property was fenced, show the total devastation.
Paint on the walls – where they still exist – has turned black and the floor is covered with roof tiles and a thick layer of soot.
Ms. Gangell said that she is still processing everything that happened, and said it is not uncommon to use an extension cord for a telephone charger.
She said that firefighters believed that the extension cord was the fault of the fire, which burned all the belongings of her family and left their home uninhabitable
The Perth woman is now fundraising helping her and her children start over
The family of five is currently being squeezed into Mrs. Gangell's house, which he shares with a roommate, and his desperate fundraising to be able to afford from scratch.
& # 39; Like many others struggling as a single parent, they could not afford it and had no household insurance, & # 39; they say GoFundMe page reads.
& # 39; They now have nothing but the clothes they were wearing today and their two dogs. & # 39;
The mother of the four said she was 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 that some things cannot be replaced.
& # 39; It really touched me – I have a blanket from my grandmother, and I know it is gone and that was all I had from her, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; I have remained very strong and very calm and just kept going, because that is what you do when you have children, you stay strong and you do not break.
& # 39; It may seem silly, but if it's the only thing you have from someone and you just think – oh my god, it's gone. & # 39;
Mrs Gangell said that the experience had prompted her to be more vigilant when it comes to safety, and warns that everyone should follow the same approach.
& # 39; I assume I'm just monitoring (power cords) – don't leave it on, plugged in, and just sit, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; Switch everything off – take the extra two seconds.
& # 39; And make sure you tell people that you love them and that you care about them, and don't worry about the crazy things – this has been a big eye-opener. & # 39;
Mrs Gangell said that everyone should be more aware of what is happening at home, and that he should never leave power cords on and unattended
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