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House gutted after chips ‘instantly’ spark devastating house fire

A mum is staying positive after her teenage daughter accidentally started a devastating house fire on Tuesday night destroying her family’s home in western Sydney.Linda Barrett told news.com.au her house in Glenhaven caught alight in a fast burning fire after her 16-year-old daughter decided to cook chips late at night.She said her daughter, who used…

A mum is staying positive after her teenage daughter accidentally started a devastating house fire on Tuesday night destroying her family’s home in western Sydney.

Linda Barrett told news.com.au her house in Glenhaven caught alight in a fast burning fire after her 16-year-old daughter decided to cook chips late at night.

She said her daughter, who used to cook chips in a fryer, poured oil into a frying pan on the stove and put a lid on the pan before walking away to get frozen chips.

“Once she took the lid off and once you add oxygen,” her mum said, the oil ignited “instantly”.

“We are so lucky she wasn’t injured it could well have killed her. She screamed and ran to my bedroom.

“We have a fire blanket, and I threw it on the stove, but (the fire) had drawn up through the range hood.”

Ms Barrett said the fire quickly spread through the house’s ducted airconditioning unit.

“It was so instantaneous.”

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Ms Barrett said she’d been feeling okay about the prospect of rebuilding her home, until she realised her home insurance had lapsed. She said she’d been making monthly payments to her insurer has since discovered the payments were for her car insurance.

But her step daughter Natalie quickly set up a fundraiser for the family, saying on the website she had “all faith in rallying the community, friends and family to help them get back on their feet”.

Natalie said she’s not sure she can raise the full $350,000 needed to repair the family home, but she said: “I would at least like to help them feel like they can make some moves forward in starting again”.

Ms Barrett said she is usually “embarrassed” to speak about herself, but said she had “put my embarrassment aside” to raise money to rebuild her home.

She said she’s been overwhelmed by the support already shown by people in her community, who have been offering to do her laundry, and help her in other ways.

So far, just over $3500 has been raised for the family.

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