‘It was fast and hot’: Homeowner’s shock as bushfire roared over his fence

NBN Australia News

NBN Australia News

Updated February 08, 2019 20:34:31

A resident in the southern Perth suburb of Forrestdale has described how close he came to losing his house as a fire came “roaring” over his fence.

Key points:

  • Ron says he wanted to defend his property, but the fire was too fast
  • His shed, which is just metres from his house, was lost in the blaze
  • No other properties were damaged in the fire, which was fanned by strong winds

Ron, who did not want his surname published, said he knew the fire was close when he arrived at his Allen Road property on Thursday afternoon.

“The fire was on Tonkin Highway when I got home so I didn’t expect it to come roaring over the fence,” he said.

“The flames would have been 30-odd metres high.

“I wanted to defend [the property] but it was fast and it was hot. If the fireys hadn’t been there, the house wouldn’t be here. The fireys saved the house.”

‘I’ve got my dogs, I’m happy’

The fire destroyed Ron’s shed, just metres from the house, along with some camping equipment and gas bottles.

“The house is still there, I’ve got my dogs, I’m happy. No one got hurt, it’s fantastic. The fireys are the best,” he said.

No other properties were damaged, but four Western Power poles were destroyed, temporarily cutting power to about 60 residents.

The fire is now under control after burning through 156 hectares of land.

A bushfire watch and act advice remains in place for Forestdale.

Fire crews have spent the day strengthening containment lines and putting out hot spots.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services said the fire was caused by a lightning strike to a tree.

“Unfortunately it was a reignition of a fire from the night before,” Incident Controller Gary Baxter said.

The fire was reported just after midday on Thursday, spreading rapidly in the early afternoon.

It was fanned by strong winds, and forced people to flee their homes and a school to be evacuated.

Forrestdale Primary School, John Bosco College, Harrisdale Primary School and Harrisdale Senior High School were all closed on Friday but are set to re-open on Monday.

Parts of Armadale Road, Forrest Road and Anstey Road also remain closed.

Topics: fires, bushfire, human-interest, perth-6000, wa, forrestdale-6112

First posted February 08, 2019 20:32:49