A New Zealand man has been badly burned as he escaped his
blazing Gold Coast home with his 3-year-old son.
Adam Bell, 28, suffered third-degree burns to 40 per cent of
his body as he helped his son Kaiden out of the family home,
shortly before it was engulfed in flames.
His wife, Kayla, found him outside the burning home. There
was no time to take anything from the building and the family
of five lost all their possessions in the Sunday fire.
"Kayla rang us just before 6pm and told us Adam had been
burned and the house was on fire, so we just rushed straight
out there and he was on his way to the hospital in the
ambulance," family friend Sarah Maclean said. "She's pretty
"Even now, I think it's still very surreal to them and
doesn't feel like it actually happened."
The West Auckland couple moved to the Gold Coast about 10
Mrs Bell, 27, was out with their 6-month-old daughter Emily
and eldest son Nathan, 8, at the time of the fire. When she
returned to the home she found Mr Bell outside with Kaiden,
who was not hurt.
Mr Bell was taken to Brisbane Hospital and has already had
one operation. Mrs Maclean said he faced at least a six-week
Mrs Bell, still too shaken to speak to the Herald yesterday,
is staying near the hospital with their children.
Investigators are yet to determine the cause of the fire. The
Bells had moved into the rental property only six weeks ago.
"They've lost everything, they just had what they were
wearing," said Mrs Maclean. "Kayla's mum Annie ... there was
a self-contained unit downstairs and she was living there as
well. So they have all lost everything.
"The homeowners had insurance on the house, but because [the
Bells] only moved in not long ago they hadn't organised their
contents insurance yet," Mrs Maclean said.
Mr Bell had recently set up his own scaffolding business, and
that would also be affected by his recovery.
Mrs Maclean has set up a Givealittle.co.nz page so friends
and family back in New Zealand can help the family back on
their feet. While that would be a long struggle, she said,
the fire could have taken a worse toll. "They may have lost
everything, but they still have each other."
How to help: visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/AdamandKayla