A devastating explosion and fire in a convenience store in Rozelle, in Sydney’s inner west, on Thursday morning claimed the lives of three people living above the shop.
Chris Noble, 27, died, along with Bianka O’Brien, 31, and her 1-year-old son, Jude. This afternoon, on Father’s Day, Jude’s father, John O’Brien, who left for work just an hour before the explosion at 4am, released this statement.
On Thursday morning I lost my beloved wife, Bianka, and our baby Jude.
Bianka was an inspiration to all who knew her – she was loyal, caring and absolutely loved life. People gravitated towards her because of her beautiful and warm personality.
Bianka and I were together for eight years, married for two, and to say she was the love of my life is an understatement.
I can’t believe how quickly those eight years have flown by but they have definitely been the best years of my life.
I know I was truly loved by her and the feeling was entirely mutual.
She was an exceptional person, a wonderful wife and an even better mother. This week Bianka was due to finish up her part-time work so she could move into the next phase of her life and fulfil her dream of caring for our boy full time.
Being a mother made her happy and she was a natural at it.
That brings me to my son, Jude, who I love with all my heart. By far the proudest moment of my life was becoming a father. He was a perfect baby and never stopped smiling.
Jude had just started to walk and was only just discovering the world around him. Everything was exciting to him and he was just a joy to be around.
He made everyone smile.
On behalf of Bianka’s father, Bill, and myself I would like to thank the community for the many well-wishes, flowers and phone calls we have received.
The events of the past few days have been devastating, but we have been overwhelmed by the response and support from the community.
I would also like to thank the police and other emergency services who have been by our side and continue to support us.
Finally, I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of Chris Noble and everyone else who has been affected by this.
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