Fire Two-Doors Down
So on the 11th October, Friday at around 12:30am there was a house fire/mini bush fire only two doors down from my home. At the time I was about to go to bed when my brother rushes to my room exclaiming that there’s a fire outside. When I looked out the backyard I saw a large vast of the sky was orange. Even though it was night time, the fact that so much of the sky was orange really frightened me twice as much as the day Sydney went through a dust storm.
And the direction of the orange sky was around our next door neighbour’s house who we actually know, so my brother and I rushed out quickly to see if they were okay and to check what was happening. As we were running down their driveway we saw the wife with the kids driving away and she told us how Mark the husband was still at the house so my brother and I decided to go assist with whatever he was doing. As we were running I witnessed neighbours panicking in their homes and rushing into vehicles and driving away. The fact that we were running towards the fire instead of fleeing made me quite nervous but we really wanted to see if Mark was doing alright by himself. As we arrived at their house we saw Mark on his balcony hosing the trees and branches but across the small valley we finally saw the cause of it all. It was a big house that was completely up in flames and the sight of it was so horrific that it made my heart beat go rapidly fast. We asked Mark whether there was anything we could assist in and he mentioned that there was another hose around the back. So my brother went to go get it and later chuck it over the fence for me to spray. Eventually I got the hose and I just started to spray all the trees and branches as Mark was worried that the fire would spread and burn his home too. So by wetting the surrounding bushland, it would at least slow down the fire if it ever reached across the small valley. Another frightening aspect of the fire was that in the air there were some embers flying and landing on branches, so Mark and I tried our best to put those out too in case they lit anything up.
Actual footage of the house fire on Mark’s balcony
While I was hosing I could see the house falling apart and I heard glass shattering, tiny explosions which sounded like a tyre popping as there were gas canisters in the house and also a lady profusely screaming. Eventually I could see some of the trees catching on fire and burning up which was definitely not a good sign. The weather conditions were not very favourable either as it was hot, humid and very windy which could make the bushfire spread very fast in the bushland that we live in. At first my initial thought was that there was a lady stuck in the house and I felt so helpless at the fact that someone could be burning alive near me but I couldn’t save them. Then some fire-fighters crossed the valley and confronted us asking about the location and the easiest way for a fire truck to make its way to the house. Since the house was in bushland, it was gonna be difficult for any trucks to come close to the property but we gave them the best suggestions we could. Then they advised us to evacuate the area as it could become potentially even more dangerous. So that’s when my brother and I ran back to our house to get the essentials. As I ran into my room my body actually froze for a while thinking, oh my goodness. This is actually happening. One of those ‘what if’s’ situations where you’re asked what you would take out with you in case of a bushfire. It’s definitely not a situation I want to be in again. Eventually my brother and I settled with getting hard drives from the computer, photos and the dog. My brother also got his favourite soft toy and childhood blanket. I don’t think I’m that sentimental anymore so I didn’t even think about that sort of thing. So as we packed the cars we drove them out to the street just in case we ever needed to suddenly drive off in the worst case scenario.
By then the whole neighbourhood had either driven off or waited in anticipation on the street for the fire to subside. I was praying a lot by this time and then the thought of our house being burnt down came across my mind. There’s a lot of stuff in our house, so to be honest, I’m not really sure how I would’ve reacted if I lost it all. But I knew those things were only temporary and many of them are easily replaceable, so it didn’t bother me all that much. Except maybe my Pokémon. Actually questioned my brother about going back in for my Pokémon and all he did was laugh. :P It was a long wait and during that time there were four fire trucks that had arrived at the scene. It took a couple of hours for police officers to tell us that the situation was under control and we could sleep comfortable tonight. So eventually I went to bed but I was still quite shaky after the experience. The following morning I went to Mark’s balcony again to check on the house and by then you could see that it was completely destroyed. The roof had caved in and it was still smoking surprisingly. All in all though, I was very impressed with the fire fighters with how they managed to handle the situation. Unfavourable weather conditions, bushland surrounding, very inaccessible location and a huge fire which was getting bigger because of the gas canisters. Also no one got hurt, not even the elderly couple whose house got burnt down so that was a huge bonus. A very frightening experience but very thankful to God who protected the rest of the neighbourhood and its people in Turramurra. It was another glimpse into God’s mercy and protection and I was easily reminded of just how gracious God has been from saving me from the fiery wrath of judgement through Jesus Christ. It’s definitely given me a reality check and another chance to be thankful to be here worshipping God. Hoping to spiritually bring people out of the fire and be a living testament of Jesus our true saviour.
Here’s an actual news report of the incident. You can see my next door neighbour Mark in there!