“I lost two babies in one night and I blame myself because I wasn’t there," the devastated mother said.
It is never easy to lose someone you hold close to your heart, especially your own children. A mother from New Zealand is beyond devastated after losing two of her children to a house fire. According to Daily Mail, Nicole Mulligan, her partner Des Cooke and two of their children, six-year-old Lucas, and two-year-old Brianna, managed to escape the destructive flames that engulfed their Christchurch home about 10:45 pm on Tuesday. However, 8-year-old Brayden and his younger sister Arianna, who was just 9 months old at the time, didn't make it out alive. Reports suggest that the brave little one lost his life while trying to rescue his baby sister from the house fire.
Apparently, Brayden's body was found in the fire-damaged doorway of Arianna's bedroom. Brayden's grandmother, Angela Martin, told Stuff she learned of the fire shortly after it tore down the family home. Mulligan had called Angela Martin to tell her about the fire that claimed the lives of two of the kids. "She said to me, ''my babies have died, I'm having a nightmare''," added Angela Martin. She then proceeded to call her son Shaun Gibson, Brayden's biological father, so she could tell him what had happened, but she just couldn't compose herself to do so.
"I heard his voice and I just started howling on the phone and I had to hand the phone to my husband," she said, adding that she rushed to the scene with her husband just as first responders were taking Brayden's body away in an ambulance. At the hospital, Arianna's father, Des Cooke apologized to Martin for not being able to do more for her grandson. "He walked into the room and just said ''I tried so hard, I'm so sorry, I tried''." According to The Sun, Mulligan had received her pay on the day of the devastating incident and she'd made a late-night trip to the supermarket to ensure she'd have food to feed her kids the next morning.
“I lost two babies in one night and I blame myself because I wasn’t there," the devastated mother said, according to Stuff. “I was shopping and I should’ve been there ... I feel like I could’ve saved them.” When she returned home, she saw the fire and the first responders. She hoped the fire wasn't in her home, but she was informed that Brayden was in the ambulance. “I just thought he was hurt, and then she said, ‘I’m sorry, but he’s dead.’ I just screamed. Then she said, ‘Your daughter is still in the house, she didn’t make it.’ I will always remember those words ... it still feels like a nightmare.”
Mulligan believes the fire started due to a fan heater they used to keep their bedroom warm for Arianna. Des Cooke heard the fire alarm go off and rushed to the room. “He went to open the bedroom door and this big ball of fire just whacked him into the wall. He said he didn’t even hear her cry, she was already gone. [The fire] came from behind the door, exactly where the heater was.” Cooke did everything to get the other three kids out but soon realized Brayden was still inside. So, he tried to go in but the fire stopped him from doing so. Brayden, a pupil at Bishopdale Primary School, was “kind, sweet and funny”, Mulligan said.
A GiveALittle page made for the family has managed to raise around $186,196 so far. "On the night of July 14th, 2020, a devastating house fire claimed the lives of 8-year-old Brayden and his 9-month-old sister, Arianna. Des, heroically saved the lives of his two other young children and suffered injuries himself after re-entering the burning house in an attempt to save Brayden and Arianna. Nicole, Des, and their two surviving children, 6-year-old Lucas and 2-year-old Brianna, face the reality of losing their children, siblings, home, and possessions, all in one night. Your donations will help the family of Brayden and Arianna cover funeral costs and help them get back on their feet without the financial burden that will accompany this horrific loss."