Church Members Smell Smoke During Game Night, Rush To Save Residents of Burning Nursing Home

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It was supposed to be a fun night of playing board games and enjoying one another’s company for a group of young adults at Murrumbeena Uniting Church in Melbourne, Australia.

But the fun and lighthearted atmosphere quickly took a turn for the serious when youth pastor Kelly Skilton smelled smoke.

Skilton explained that she initially thought the heater might have been overheating, and got up to investigate. What she found were flames threatening the nearby retirement home.

She and her fellow church members sprang into action, alerting staff, running inside the retirement home and waking residents up, helping them into wheelchairs and bringing them inside the church for safety.

“What can I say — all the Young Adults were just incredible,” Skilton wrote on Facebook. “Helping the elderly get into wheelchairs, evacuating the 25-30 residents.”

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“Making sure teas, coffees, blankets and care was provided to everyone — so many locals from houses came across, people jumped out of cars, the whole community came together and it was just a whirlwind of events.”

In less than 10 minutes, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade arrived and worked to extinguish the fire, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Church minister Jay Robinson said that she was called to come help, but by the time she arrived, the youth group already had things under control.

“They called me in, but by the time I got there they had found blankets, were serving tea and coffees, water, having conversations and making them as comfortable as they possibly could,” Robinson said.

The residents remained at the church for about an hour until it was safe to return to their home, Robinson said.

Overall, the residents seemed to enjoy interacting with the youth group, despite being woken up by a chaotic situation.

“I think most of (the residents) had an absolute ball. Some of them said they might want to come to church,” Robinson said.

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Skilton was excited that the group had an opportunity to help, giving God the credit for placing them in the right place at the right time.

“As amazing as everyone was, God was more amazing for bringing us together to actively live out the call to be there for our community,” Skilton said.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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