By Gabriella Payne
The Tulloch family of Pakenham’s world was turned upside down when fire destroyed the family home and everything they owned.
Emergency services rushed to the scene of the inferno at about 12.45pm on Thursday 14 October, after an explosion occurred in the family’s garage and a fire took hold, quickly spreading throughout the family home.
An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said that paramedics had treated a man in his 60s at the scene, later identified as Geoffrey Tulloch, who was rushed to the Alfred Hospital in a “serious but stable condition“ with both “upper and lower body injuries“.
Detective Senior Sergeant Kay Morgan said that the explosion and subsequent fire were accidental and “non-suspicious“, and Geoffrey Tulloch had suffered burns while trying to extinguish the flames.
The Tulloch family, who had only lived in their home on Drysdale Street, Pakenham for less than a year, were sadly unable to salvage anything from their home after the fire raged through and are currently living in temporary accommodation for the time being.
Close friends of the family and organisers of a Gofundme page to help the Tullochs, Monique and Kaitlyn, said that the family were all incredible people and it was terrible that this had happened to them.
“Geoffrey was home alone at the time, working in his garage when something went wrong,“ they said.
“There was an explosion, the house was in flames and within minutes the roof was collapsing, destroying everything they had worked so hard to build.“
Monique and Kaitlyn said that Geoffrey had undergone multiple surgeries and skin grafts to treat his injuries and remained in hospital at the moment, but he was recovering well considering everything he had been through.
As well as Geoffrey’s injuries, a number of the family’s pets were caught in the blaze and are currently undergoing veterinary treatment.
The family are also still searching for one of their cats, Elton, who they believe ran away during the incident.
Since the fire, the local community have rallied behind Geoffrey, his wife Paula and their children, but with a long road to recovery ahead of them, any and all donations are still being welcomed.
If you are able to or would like to donate to help the Tullochs, head to https://www.gofundme.com/f/loving-family-who-lost-everything-need-your-help