Russell Island House Fire Update: Dad Died ‘With His Arms around All of the Boys’ Protecting His Kids until the End

A family went to sleep one evening, not knowing what would befall them the following morning. Several people lost their lives, while only two survived in a house fire.

A rented family home belonging to Wayne Godinet and his partner Samantha Stephenson went ablaze in Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, on August 6, 2023.

Godinet, Samantha, and the couple’s five kids, twin sons Kyza and Koa, 4, Nicky, 3, and the doting father’s stepsons, Zack, 11, and Harry, 10, not forgetting Samantha’s sister Connie Campbell, were all under the same roof when the fire occurred.

In reaction, Godinet escaped the home amid the blazing flames, and once he realized that the children were all still inside, he ran back inside to go rescue them. However, he and the kids never made it out.

Godinet and his five sons’ bodies were discovered at the scene after the emergency crews got out of the fire. Meanwhile, his partner Samantha and her sister escaped with only minor injuries. The pair slept on the ground floor while their boys and aunt were upstairs when the fire broke out.

The fire swept through the timber Queenslander on Todman Street on Russel Island at 6 a.m. on Sunday, affecting three homes on Moreton Bay Island. The maternal grandmother of the five kids tragically killed in the inferno alongside their 34-year-old father revealed how they all died. Rebecca Samantha disclosed that Godinet was found with his arms around his beloved children.

Rebecca described the incident as “every mother’s worst nightmare and more,” adding, “He was really everything to [Samantha] and the boys.” Godinet and Samantha had both made it out of the house, but he stopped her from going back in and decided to go himself. Once he was upstairs trying to save the kids, he got trapped by the fire before the second story collapsed.

The Survivors Speak Out

In the wake of the heart-wrenching incident, Samantha’s sister Campbell said she feels guilty that she made it out alive instead of her nephews and their father.

Campbell jumped from the balcony to save herself, and she witnessed her sister screaming for her children, who were trapped inside the property. The 21-year-old believes she was the last to see her nephews and their dad alive.

The family's rented home up in smoke on August 6, 2023 in Queensland, Australia | Source: Facebook/7NEWSBrisbane

The family’s rented home up in smoke on August 6, 2023 in Queensland, Australia | Source: Facebook/7NEWSBrisbane

She expressed the feeling still felt surreal because she saw how everything unfolded. Campbell shared how she wished things could have panned out differently:

“The survivor’s guilt – it should have been me. If I had just tried harder and this and that – I knew that’s stupid or wrong, but it’s just how I feel.”

On that fateful day, she was awakened by panicked screams of “fire fire” from neighbors. She quickly dressed up and ran to the bedroom of the three younger kids, where Godinet was grabbing the boys to carry them outside.

An aerial view of emergency crews putting out the fire at Wayne Godinet and Samantha Stephenson's home on August 6, 2023 in Queensland, Australia | Source: Facebook/9News

An aerial view of emergency crews putting out the fire at Wayne Godinet and Samantha Stephenson’s home on August 6, 2023 in Queensland, Australia | Source: Facebook/9News

In those few seconds, she returned to her room to get her phone before going to the older boys’ room. But she failed to get passed the hallway, which was filled with pitch-black smoke, and she ultimately resorted to exiting the home via the veranda, where the fire burned her feet.

Meanwhile, another survivor, Samantha, 28, has spoken out through her close friend Lily Slater following the heart-breaking event. Slater revealed: “Samantha just wants the world to know – check your smoke alarms and hold your babies.”

Slater reportedly opened a GoFundMe page for her dear friend to help her with the expenses, including covering six upcoming funerals for her late loved ones.

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