Lucky to be alive


WHEN Lifeline volunteer Pam Guyer went to work at the Toormina store yesterday morning, she never thought that her life would actually be on the line.

Now, Pam is counting her lucky stars, after she escaped the store unscathed after the whole plaster ceiling collapsed not long after 11.30 am yesterday.

Volunteering at the store since March, Pam was standing behind the counter when the ceiling caved in.

"I heard a noise, and then all of a sudden the whole ceiling caved in. I can tell you, we made a very quick exit," she said.

"Luckily it was just another lady and I in the store, and we were both up the front.

"It's just amazing that no one got hurt. A mother and her children had just left the shop when it happened. It's most definitely good karma."

Sandra Spence, the store supervisor at Lifecare next door, called the Fire Brigade.

"I heard this rumble, it sounded like an earthquake," she said.

"I ran straight over and when I saw what had happened, I called for reinforcements. They were excellent, they arrived so quickly.

"It's just an absolute miracle that no one was hurt. There are always people inside, especially on a Thursday. It's just miraculous."

Retained firefighter Craig Mayled said he'd never been called to something like this before.

"Usually when a ceiling collapses it's the result of a fire or bad weather. We've never been called out to anything of this sort."

"It's a reasonable amount of damage. They'll have to replace all the electrical wiring, lights, fix the air conditioning and replace the ceiling.

"They'll have to wait for the insurance assessor I'd say they'll be closed until at least next week. The main thing is that no one was injured, and the ladies managed to get out alright."

Manager of the store Jenny Arkoll said that the store has long needed repairs.

"The whole strip needs to be redone," she said.

"Our store room is full of towels because when it rains, we flood. We need to fix it properly."

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