Shana Kikuchi had the heart-wrenching responsibility of telling her father that his wife and three children were gone.
On January 10 a fire destroyed the family’s Glen Waverley home, in Melbourne’s southeast, killing Kaoru Okano and her three little girls – Ako, Uta and Enna.
Shana’s father Hiroyuki Kikuchi, 50, had been dragged from the fire by firefighters and was taken to hospital in a sedated coma.
Victoria Police Detective Senior Sergeant Neville Major said their bodies were found huddled together in the debris of the bathroom.
Ms Kikuchi said her stepmother was a great friend of hers and was born to be a mum to her three little girls.
“I will love you to the end of time,” Ms Kikuchi wrote.
Ako, 8, was Ms Kikuchi’s oldest sister who was described as always striving to make her parents proud, studying and practising the piano.
Five-year-old Uta was the cheeky middle child who loved making the family laugh and wasn’t afraid to compete against her stepbrother Jake playing video games.
The youngest daughter was three-year-old Enna, Ms Kikuchi described her as “the littlest with the biggest personality”
“There was not a day you would see her without drawings on her arms. She was a real artist!”
Daughter remembers horror of telling father about the deaths
Ms Kikuchi said telling her father what had happened is a moment she will never forget.
“My dad has lost everything, his beloved children, his wife Kaoru, their two cats Nixon and Tsuppy, and their home and everything in it,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page.
“On top of all this, his business was decimated this year from Covid-19 and the financial hardship it caused, leaving them with nothing.
“When I saw him in hospital after the fire, he literally had no clothes on his back – absolutely everything is gone.”
Ms Kikuchi is trying to raise enough money to provide a beautiful memorial service for her stepmother and sisters. She is also desperately trying to fly Kaoru’s parents from Japan to the ceremony.
Whatever is left will go toward helping Hiroyuki get back on his feet, and put a roof over his head.
“Every little bit helps,” Ms Kikuchi wrote.
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