An heirloom wedding dress that a dying mother left behind for her baby daughter is among the items of clothing salvaged from last month’s devastating fire at Werribee’s Master Dry Cleaners.

Darren Buller said when his wife Andrea died from a brain aneurysm in 2001, she left her 14-month-old daughter Tayla with a number of letters she’d written and her wedding dress.

When Tayla had her debutante ball 18 months ago, her stepmother Elizabeth helped refashion the wedding dress into a deb gown that Tayla proudly wore on the night.


Mum Andrea wearing the dress on her wedding day. Picture: supplied


More than a year later, the family took the dress in to Master Dry Cleaners to have it dry cleaned.

When fire broke out at the dry cleaning business about 10.30pm on February 4, the dress was inside the premises. However, while the building and a number of customers’ garments were extensively damaged, the dress was among the items to be saved, with the box it was housed in singed.

The dress is currently being re-cleaned.

Mr Buller said the family was relieved to discover that the dress had escaped damage.

“When they told me that the dress was fine, I walked out crying,” he said.

“There’s only a couple of things that Tayla has got of her mum’s and she was only 14 months old when Andrea passed away, so to be able to wear the dress for her deb was really, really special for both her and her grandparents.

“The fact that they’d packed it in a box two weeks before was the thing that saved it. If it had been hanging up, it would have been destroyed.”