And then I drove into the town, drove down to where my house was. There were lights everywhere… fire brigade, ambulance, police. I stopped the car in the middle of the road, jumped out, threw my keys at a police officer I saw. And two people came up walking over to me, one was a neighbour over the hedge and the other one was the landlord of the pub that I used to work in. And the look on their faces told me it weren’t good.
So two police officers came over and told me to sit down, which when they insist that you sit down, you know it’s not good news.
So I got really pissy with them and just said, “Just tell me.” And they said that they’d recovered a body of an adult male, deceased. I said, “Good.” And they’d recovered the body of a child who’s been taken to hospital. I said, “Boy or girl?” And they said, “We can’t tell you that at this time.” So I went mad and tried to get in the house. But they wouldn’t let me. They restrained me and sent me off down to the local pub. And I know now that I had a sort of family liaison type person to stay with me.
But I can tell you at that time I didn’t realise that there was anyone keeping an eye on me.
I went in the pub. They said that they would come down to tell me what was happening, who had you know which of my children had been taken in the ambulance … whether he was a she or a he or whether he was alive or dead or what.
Did you have friends with you?
Yes. I called my sister, told her to get in the car. And that one of them was dead but not to say anything to mum, not to call her on the phone until she gets there, tell her face-to-face.
But I couldn’t tell her which one. I then called the man I’d been seeing who was away on holiday, and said, “Can you please come home?”
And then, called my best friend from about age eight. But she didn’t answer either. I just left a message saying, “Come home,” because she lives up in London.
How did you react to that terrible news, I mean… you were sent to the pub?
I was pretty much okay because I was still very, very “that can’t be right”.
I was very, very mad that they couldn’t tell me boy or girl, because it was obvious to me.
They kept saying they would come down and update me but they never did. So eventually I called the hospital. And I said, “Look you’ve had a little, a child brought in that’s been in a house fire.” I said, “I don’t know if it’s my boy or my girl.”
And they said, “There was a little boy about six.” And I said, “He’s not six, he’s nearly fucking eight.”
And he said, “Who’s with you?” And they tell me this over the phone. They haven’t even asked for any like sort of ID or anything like that. “Who’s with you?” And I said, “He’s dead as well isn’t he?” And they said, “Yes I’m afraid he is.” So I got very annoyed again then that my daughter had died in the house. My boy had died.
I don’t know in the house, [if he] was revived and then taken. I didn’t know. And I was really, really, really annoyed that they just left me to it. That throughout all of this I’m drinking whisky because I know whisky is going to make me very violent really.
And so I have drunk a lot of whisky. And the next thing I know is I have … there’s a doctor walks through the door. And I realise they want to put me under or something, at which point I told him to get lost and he did.
He just walked out. And next thing my uncle, who happens to be in the clergy appeared.
And I looked up and I said, “Oh wow hello.” It was just all so surreal.
And I said, “You haven’t told your mum, have you?”, because she’s an old lady. And he said, “No.” I said, “Let her sleep tonight and tell her tomorrow.”
Then hours later, the police come in. The policeman comes in and wants to interview me about things. And I get the impression that he wants to tell me that my eldest has started the fire. So I got very, very angry. And then I’m told I have to go to the police station. At which point I say, “No, I want to see my husband dead. I want to make sure he’s dead.”