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Wayne Godinet and his five sons | Two women mourning the loss | Source: Twitter.com/nypost | Facebook.com/9News
Wayne Godinet and his five sons | Two women mourning the loss | Source: Twitter.com/nypost | Facebook.com/9News

Mom of 5 Finally Speaks after Losing All Kids in Fire Alongside Their Dad Who Tried to Save Them

Vanessa Seifert
Aug 09, 2023
07:45 A.M.

Samantha Stephenson, the 28-year-old woman who lost her family in a fire that took the lives of her five sons and partner, has broken her silence. She asked for people to help her give her family a dignified send-off.

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Samantha Stephenson, the 28-year-old woman who lost her family in the deadly fire that demolished her house in Queensland's Russell Island, has broken her silence.

Stephenson lost her partner, Wayne Godinet, and her five children in the fire. She was able to escape along with her 21-year-old relative. The mother tried to run back inside for her kids, but Godinet stopped her.

Unfortunately, the mother of five could only watch as fire trapped her family in the house, knowing that she would never see them again. Godinet was reportedly stuck upstairs with their children, twins Kyza and Koa, aged four, and three-year-old son Nicky, and Godinet's stepsons, Zack, 11, and Harry, 10.

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The five bodies were found on Sunday in the remains of the burnt home. In the meantime, Stephenson's close friend Lilly Slate set up a GoFundMe page to help the distraught mother cover the funeral and other expenses.

The investigation of how the fire happened is still ongoing, but according to reports, Godinet was sleeping downstairs, and Stephenson was upstairs with the kids when the fire broke out.

A close family friend, Peter MacLoughlin, said he rushed to Stephenson as soon as he heard about the fire. MacLoughlin recalled the 28-year-old running out of the house screaming, "... My children, my children. I can never forget that," he added.

On the other hand, the police investigating the case have yet to determine whether the fire was suspicious. Detective Superintendent Andrew Massingham said parts of the investigation needed to be thoroughly examined and will remain confidential until they have been clarified.

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But the family of the victims that died in the blaze has been sharing tributes to their loved ones. The kids' aunt Emma-Lee Headrick posted a message on Facebook, expressing how she had been up all night grieving these six lives. The photo she shared showed her nephews and their father floating in pink clouds.

While losing five family members has brought immense pain, Headrick tried to find comfort in it all. She wrote, 'We have suffered a great loss. I find comfort in knowing you rest peacefully in the arms of the Lord. With Grumpy and Nicky."

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She also ended the message by assuring her sister that she would be coming to see her soon and understood how much pain she must be experiencing. Stephenson has since been released from the hospital and is reportedly working with the police as they try to figure out the reason behind the fire.

How Is the Community Dealing with the Loss?

As the case is being further looked into, the police took the five bodies in for the identification process on Monday. Superintendent Massingham revealed that Godinet was known to the police, and the authorities had frequented the home before the incident.

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Knowing this information, Massingham was asked if Godinet had permission to be in the house, and Superintendent said a further internal investigation would be conducted.

The Russell Island community is also trying to grapple with the tragedy. Leanne McMahon, the acting principal of Russell Island State School—where Stephenson's sons Zack and Harry went—released a letter to parents and caregivers regarding the fire and the families affected.

"We extend our sincere sympathies to the affected families and their loved ones at this difficult time,' the school letter read. McMahon also pointed out that these deaths have affected the children and that everyone would receive counseling from the school.

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The acting principal wanted to extend a helping hand and for the community to show a united front as they attempted to overcome this tragedy. "As a community, we will rally together and support each other through this challenging period," she added.

Stephenson also had a few words of advice. Her friend, Slate, shared, ”Samantha wants the world to know—check your smoke alarms and hold your babies."

Life for Samantha Stephenson Moving Forward

Stephenson lost everything in the fire and will need basic essentials such as clothes and personal hygiene products. Slate has been a supportive friend speaking on behalf of the distressed mother.

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She thanked everyone for the donations and for giving Stephenson the space she needed to grieve her family. However, it was not only Stephenson's home that was affected by the fire.

There were two more homes, one reportedly collapsed while the firefighters were trying to extinguish it, and about 20 firefighters put out the fire on the third home. A total of nine people were attended to on the scene.

Therefore, the investigation has proven to be bigger than anticipated, and anyone with footage or additional information regarding the deadly fire is urged to come forward. We wish all the people affected by the fire strength during this difficult time.

Here is another story about a mother and her three children that did not survive an overnight fire.

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