Ravenshoe explosion: Family says noone to blame for deaths
THE family of Nicole Dempsey, who was killed last week in a café explosion in the far north Queensland town of Ravenshoe, have said there is no one to blame for what they are calling a freak accident.
Her mother Vicki Nyholt - who also owns the Serves You Right café at the centre of the blast - described Nicole as a woman who was "full of love and laughter" and who adored family and friends.
Ms Nyholt posted the statement online on behalf of the family.
She paid homage to the people of Ravenshoe for their cards, letters, flowers and donations.
"To hear your stories of enduring strength and bravery makes us very proud to be a part of this community makes us very proud to be a part of this community.
"We drew so much strength from you all and we appreciate the overwhelming support you have shown us.
"To all those people from across the nation - because the support has been so overwhelming we cannot list you all individually, but you know who you are, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
She said the family was proud of the police, fire and ambulance crews who attended the shocking scene.
Margaret Clark, 82, also died from injuries received from the blast after being airlifted to Brisbane.
Ms Nyholt said her family would pray and hope for all those injured in the blast, including the ute driver who's vehicle set off the explosion.
"We understand that Brian, the driver, is in critical condition, and we would like to send him our love and strength at this time," she said.
"This was a freak accident and there is no room for blame.
"We know that Nicole had the strength to walk out of that café.
"We know that she had presence of mind to take herself somewhere that she knew she would have access to water.
"We know that Nicole knew how loved she was by this community."