Sunday, February 15, 2009

Anyone else watching Channel 7 Sunday Night programme?

Story of an amazing survival of a family in the fire. They sheltered between their two water tanks and lived - everything around them was burnt.

Another woman spoke of her family's survival in a cellar, but it was close because their escape routes were blocked by burning parts of the house and then there was a gas tank venting which exploded as they ran from the burning house.

A Wilderness Society spokesman was shouted down when he said that burning off wasn't the way... he didn't last long before the assembled crowd got an answer. Inner city Melbourne.


Caz said...

Far too many stories of amazing good luck to absorb Kae.

Was not watching the show, but have read a great deal.

My current favorite: the five mates drinking beer, figuring they'd be right to fend off the fire once it reached them. Bugger all chance. Within no time they were backed into their already planned last resort, jumping into a concrete water tank. There they stayed for a few hours, waste deep in water, hioking each other up to get some air from time to time.

Finally came out. Everything gone, including four of five cars.

They all piled into the one car left undamaged, drove off to a mates place, picked up a slab of beer on the way.

Nothing heroic about it, unless living in itself is heroic, but a damned fine Aussie story. Good Aussie blokes. No fuss, no bother. A cold beer in hand, sitting safely in their mates garage, with a yarn of survival to tell. You don't get more Aussie than that.

kae said...

An excellent story, Caz!
Very Australian larrikin - especially the slab of beer on the way to the mate's garage.
I'm amazed at the stories, not of heroism, but of amazing good sense and survival.

I'm a bit stunned by people advocating chopping down all euclaypts within a certain distance of homes and towns - they don't realise that a hose roof is a tinderbox, embers travel many miles and can easily set fire to a house. Once the fire is in the ceiling the house cannot be saved in a bushfire - if it was just an ordinary ceiling fire in suburbia it could be saved by the fire brigade, but not in a bushfire. It's too late!

Caz said...

Not to dispute your point about embers in the ceiling ...

Small segue: "ember attack" almost sounds innocent, like a bunch of blowies. I think a lot of people suddenly understand that having embers rain down on you isn't just a minor side show to the flame arriving.

Anyway, did read about one chap who had serious injuries pre-existing injuries, shoulder and arm, or such, has been in pain for years ... can't remember exact details, but something ongoing, well, he pushed through the pain barrier and spent an eternity up in his roof cavity putting out flames and embers. Saved the family, saved the house. Very gusty.

kae said...

Hearing and reading the description by, um his first name escapes me, the journalist Hughes in The Australian, of how the fire was at his home, which he could not save, I don't think people realise how intense it is. You cannot save anything if your windows explode, either. People are unaware of how bad a fire can/will be, although in this case some experts were warning that a bad fire was coming.

And Hughes was prepared, he'd been in the CFA and was aware of all the preparation which was required.