‘Jude was perfect,’ says Rozelle dad
Bianka O’Brien and her baby boy Jude along with neighbour Chris Noble were killed in the early hours of Thursday morning when an explosion ripped through a convenience store in the inner-west Sydney suburb of Rozelle.
Ms O’Brien’s husband, John, on Sunday said his wife was preparing to enter the next phase of her life by caring full-time for Jude, who had just learned to walk.
“Bianka and I were together for eight years, married for two, and to say she was the love of my life is an understatement,” he said in a statement.
“I can’t believe how quickly those eight years have flown by but they have definitely been the best years of my life.
“Bianka was an inspiration to all who knew her – she was loyal, caring and absolutely loved life.”
Jude was just discovering the world around him, Mr O’Brien said.
“He was a perfect baby and never stopped smiling,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Everything was exciting to him and he was just a joy to be around. He made everyone smile.”
Mr O’Brien and Bianka’s father Bill also thanked the community, police and emergency service for their ongoing support, and extended their sympathy to the family of Chris Noble.
At a public meeting in neighbouring Balmain on Sunday, police told residents there was little risk of airborne asbestos exposure from the wreckage following days of wet weather in Sydney.
The exclusion zone has been reduced along the busy commercial and residential street between Victoria road and Merton St.
A frantic two-day search for survivors ended on Friday when the bodies of Bianka and Jude were carried out together from the charred wreckage of the convenience store and apartments.
The devastated site of the blast is now a crime scene.
Investigators are reviewing CCTV footage with Strike Force Baracchi launched to investigate the fire.
Police have still to speak with the convenience store owner, who is in a serious condition in hospital after emergency services had to dig him out of the debris by hand.
Reports of a car fleeing the area after the explosion are being investigated.
Full Statement from John O’Brien
On Thursday morning I lost my beloved wife, Bianka, and our baby Jude.
Bianka was an inspiration to all who knew her – she was loyal, caring and absolutely loved life. People gravitated towards her because of her beautiful and warm personality.
Bianka and I were together for eight years, married for two, and to say she was the love of my life is an understatement.
I can’t believe how quickly those eight years have flown by but they have definitely been the best years of my life.
I know I was truly loved by her and the feeling was entirely mutual.
She was an exceptional person, a wonderful wife and an even better mother. This week Bianka was due to finish up her part-time work so she could move into the next phase of her life and fulfil her dream of caring for our boy full time.
Being a mother made her happy and she was a natural at it.
That brings me to my son, Jude, who I love with all my heart. By far the proudest moment of my life was becoming a father. He was a perfect baby and never stopped smiling.
Jude had just started to walk and was only just discovering the world around him. Everything was exciting to him and he was just a joy to be around.
He made everyone smile.
On behalf of Bianka’s father, Bill, and myself I would like to thank the community for the many well-wishes, flowers and phone calls we have received.
The events of the past few days have been devastating, but we have been overwhelmed by the response and support from the community.
I would also like to thank the police and other emergency services who have been by our side and continue to support us.
Finally, I would like to extend my sympathy to the family of Chris Noble and everyone else who has been affected by this.
We now ask that the media and public continue to respect our privacy during this time.