Tragic house fire that claimed the life of a mother of two leaves the father and his children grieving and facing months of homelessness
- Naomie Richings died in a house fire in Orange, NSW
- Her husband slipped into a coma after trying to save her.
- Family living week to week in temporary accommodation
A family that lost their mother and their home in a tragic fire faces months without a permanent place to live.
Naomie Richings, a mother of two, was killed when flames engulfed her single-storey house on Pimpala Place in Orange, four hours west of Sydney on June 3.
Her husband James, who ran inside to try to save her, was pulled from the flames badly burned and left in a coma.
Firefighters extricated her two children, ages nine and ten, and took them to hospital with serious injuries.
Now, more than a month later, James is stuck living week by week, having to pack up his belongings every seven days to reapply to stay in temporary accommodation for another week.
A tragic house fire that killed a mother of two left James Richings and his children in grief, but also living week after week in temporary accommodation, fearing homelessness.
Naomie Richings died when flames engulfed her single-storey house on Pimpala Place in Orange, four hours west of Sydney, on June 3.
With a long waiting list for public housing, the Department of Housing has told the family that they could be waiting months for a house to live in.
His brother David Richings told the daily telegraph that the father of two is emotionally traumatized by the incident.
“You just don’t expect these things to happen to you, every day he would wake up (in the hospital) and have to remember what happened to Naomie,” David said.
“I have things piled up in my car that people have given us but (James) can’t take because he doesn’t have a place to live yet.
“Naomie couldn’t get enough of those kids, every picture I have of her is of her playing with the kids.”
TO GoFundMe set up to help the family during difficult times has raised more than $16,000, but James, who lost his ID in the fire, can’t even access the funds.
With a long waiting list for public housing, the Department of Housing has told the family they could be waiting months for a house to live in (pictured: Orange house destroyed by fire)
Naomi’s Facebook profile was full of videos with her children, writing that her children were the ‘kings of my heart’.
Footage from the scene showed black smoke billowing from the red brick house as neighbors looked on in shock.
Heartbreaking screams from youngsters were heard as paramedics treated children on the street for smoke inhalation.
NSW Region Fire and Rescue Acting Inspector Dane Phillippe praised the actions of the firefighters.
“Due to their brave and quick actions, they were able to enter the house, which was well lit, and rescued two children,” he said.
NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Adam Dewberry added the fire was “a tragedy that will be fully investigated”.
“FRNSW cannot comment on the details surrounding this fire, however there is at least one action everyone can take immediately to be safer at home,” it said.
“That’s to make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed on every level that is less than 10 years old.”
The fire caused extensive damage to the house in Orange (pictured)