Neighbours fight ‘wall of flames’ saving many houses
THE ROARING fire on Mt Rae Rd was no match for John Potter and Ross Milner as the pair battled the raging inferno, saving half a dozen houses.
Allison Hugo spoke to The Morning Bulletin on Tuesday morning singing the praises of her elderly neighbours.
The fire came through their road on Saturday afternoon and Mr Potter and Mr Milner stayed to fight the fire.
With resources tied up elsewhere and the Cobraball/Bungundarra region up in flames, the two men took on the fire on their own.
They had a water cart and tractor fighting the fire and moving cattle.
Ms Hugo was at home on her own as her husband was away at work, but seeing how fast the fire was moving, she was frightened and fled to town around 6pm.
Her husband returned home and they went out to the property around 2.30 on Sunday morning to thankfully find their house still standing.
The scorched earth came within 10 metres of their yard.
"They came up with the water cart, they were running from one house to the next," Ms Hugo said.
"I am very grateful, I don't know what would have happened if they weren't here.
"I shudder to think what we would have come home to.
"I am very appreciative, we were so lucky they were able to stay and they knew what to do."
Sadly two houses on her road burnt to the ground and she discovered a neighbour's horse had sadly died from the fire.
Some other horses had singed burns on their faces but thankfully survived and Ms Hugo has been feeding them with donated supplies from Yeppoon Stockfeed and Rural Supplies.
Ms Hugo has lived at the property for the past four years with her husband and two of her grown-up children who work at the mines.
She had never been through a fire before and couldn't believe how fast it developed.
"When it was coming it was so scary, it come up so quick, we didn't' know which way it would go, the wind kept changing," Ms Hugo said.
As she was leaving, the sky was full of smoke and it came over black.
"All we could see was a wall of flames coming up the road, it would have been 50 metres up the road from us," she said.
"I just thought I hope these blokes are going to be okay.
No amount of planning could help you in a situation like that.
"It's hard to prepare for something like that to come, you don't know how bad it is, we didn't know that was what was coming our way," she said.
With still months of summer to go, Ms Hugo isn't too worried about more fires as there is nothing left to burn.
"We will be happy when it rains," she said.