Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Kawana's Black Friday Relived

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Kawana's Black Friday Relived

Article excerpt

JANINE HILL

janine.hill@scnews.com.au

TEN years ago today, Lynn Blackwood-Troyahn and dozens like her lost not only their jobs but a little bit of their sense of self.

Mrs Blackwood-Troyahn was one of about 100 people who were left out of work when fire tore through four businesses at Kawana.

Mrs Blackwood-Troyahn worked at Spotlight, which was then on the corner of Nicklin Way and Kensington Drive.

Spotlight and two businesses in the same complex, Rosemores Furniture and electrical retailer Chandlers, were destroyed by the early morning blaze.

Further south along Nicklin Way, at Wurtulla, The Fruit Shed was gutted in a separate fire.

Mrs Blackwood-Troyahn said the fires had been devastating for employees.

"It was so out of left field. We drove down there in the afternoon. In a sense, it made it more real seeing the devastation so we could appreciate what had happened," she said

"It was really devastating. A sense of your self is tied up with your work and your workplace and workmates. It was a huge life event.

"You get up and go to work and suddenly, that's not there anymore."

As the sun rose higher in the sky, news of the devastation spread and hearts sank.

Spotlight employee Debbie Doolan was left wondering how she would pay the mortgage or put all of her intended presents under the Christmas tree with the family's sole income gone.

Mrs Doolan had received a call at 6.30am from a fellow worker to say the store had burnt down.

One by one, the shattered employees gathered across the road from the burnt out remains, trying to come to grips with what had happened.

"We were a family. We all had our own jobs to do," Mrs Doolan said.

"I was in craft at that stage and the day before, we'd received a shipment of beading.

"I filled up the whole beading wall and it was beautiful and the next day it was gone. …

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