Nimbin inferno leaves 20 out of work at Rainbow Cafe alone

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Staff from the Rainbow Cafe woke to the news their workplace in Cullen St, Nimbin had been destroyed by fire. From left, business owner Jodee Tichborne, Freya Barber and Nicole Hills. Cathy Adams
SHOW OF SUPPORT: Staff from the Rainbow Cafe woke to the news their workplace in Cullen St, Nimbin had been destroyed by fire. From left, business owner Jodee Tichborne, Freya Barber and Nicole Hills. Cathy Adams Cathy Adams

WHEN Rainbow Cafe owner Jodee Tichborne heard the news that her Cullen St business was on fire, her first thought was for her employees.

"I had 20 people working here," she said.

"Someone came to my house to tell me the cafe was burning, and I just thought, 'All those people ... they are going to be out of work'.

"I think we are the third biggest employer in Nimbin, so it's a really big deal.

"I am devastated.

"I'm gutted."

Ms Tichborne has leased the Rainbow Cafe from the owners, the Tuntable Falls Community, for more than 10 years, although she has worked there for the past 15 years.

She said it was the heart and soul of Nimbin.

"It's unbelievable that this has happened," she said.

"The cafe has been running so nicely and it was a really important place for the local kids.

"The cafe was such a huge part of this community.

"I guess I'm just glad that no-one was hurt.

"But I have no idea what I'm going to do now ... I guess we'll rebuild.

"Nimbin is the best place in the whole world."

Ms Tichborne was comforted by her employees and locals as they watched firefighters bring the blaze under control.

They said they would "do anything" for their boss, and many people cried when they saw the devastating scene.

Rainbow Cafe worker Lucas Floate said he didn't even know about the fire until he turned up for work.

"I guess I don't have a job anymore," he said.

"This is a really awful thing for everyone in Nimbin."

Topics:  nimbin fire unemployment

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