Thousands raised for family who lost twin girls in horrific tragedy
Thousands of dollars have been raised to help the family of twin four-year old girls who died in a tragic fire in northern New South Wales. Twin girls Ophelia and Tarrow died when a fire broke out at their home in Goonengerry, west of Byron Bay, on Sunday morning.
Emergency services were called to the home, but the girls could not be saved. They are reported to have inhaled a significant amount of smoke as a result of the fire. The fire is believed to have been started by an unattended candle that had been placed on a piano.
On Monday, friends of the twins’ dad, James, launched a fundraiser to support the family.
The fundraiser reads, “These beautiful little fairies left this earth too soon, and the loss for Jimmi and family is unspeakable.
“It is now for us, his friends and family, to come together and create a legacy of lasting love and support. Aside from the onslaught of grief and sorrow, that is already devastating the family, there is an impending slew of debt, funeral costs, and day-to-day expenses that we hope to cover through this collection.”
As of Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe had raised more than $20,000. A separate fundraiser, which has raised more than $2000, was started to support the twins’ mum, Akira Garton. The fundraiser says, “Tarrow and Ophelia were bright, playful, identical twins that had a sparkle in their eyes and angelic features.
“They loved and adored their older sister Maitreya so so much … just as they were loved and adored by all close to them. There is no word in English for a parent who loses their child, and there shouldn’t be.
“It is an unthinkable tragedy. Akira and her family are shattered to the core; they have an unbearable amount of grief to carry and heartbreaking pain to endure. Flowers and tributes were left at the property following the tragedy.”
The twins were visiting their father for the weekend as part of a shared parenting arrangement. James, along with his new partner and friends, were believed to have been outside around a bonfire at the time and weren’t aware a fire had started. It wasn’t until he went in to check on the girls that he saw the smoke.
A lawyer acting on behalf of Garton has asked detectives to examine why the girls were unattended, although there’s no suggestion the girls’ father has done anything wrong. No charges have been laid.