LOCAL HERO: Ashley Blake at his burned property in Woolooga.
LOCAL HERO: Ashley Blake at his burned property in Woolooga. Philippe Coquerand

Woolooga Fire: Brave resident saves school just in time

Woolooga Fires
Woolooga Fires Leeroy Todd

A WOOLOOGA resident has detailed his efforts to extinguish flames from spreading bushfires as they threatened to destroy the local school last Thursday.

Ashley Blake, who lives on Cahill Rd with wife Linda and their triplets Phoenix, Tywin and Indica, first rushed to warn his friends of the fire approaching their home after he noticed it jump Edwards Rd.

Police arrived soon after with the same warning, before blockading the road and telling Mr Blake to vacate the area.


Woolooga State School, at which his children are students, had been evacuated at around 11am, but Mr Blake noticed flames approaching the building on his way back.

"I saw it had jumped into the front yard so I went in there and hooked up the hose,” he said.

"I was starting to put it out because it was under the actual building, and some officers pulled up and saw what was going on, then they helped me put it out.

"I think some embers had blown across the road and fallen into the garden, because that and the school roof was catching.

"Some officers asked me not to go in, but I snuck around the corner. It was a bit naughty but the school would have gone up in flames if I didn't do something, I felt that I needed to act.”

Mr Blake said he commended authorities for their efforts and "were just trying to do their job”.

He said he and other locals had then stayed out all night to battle the blaze from Andrew Rd and Ormes Rd.

"We're calling ourselves the Renegade Brigade,” he said.

"The fireys were concentrating on saving houses, so we felt we had to do something to help.

"We were trying to stop it spreading to Sexton and Miva.

"We've only been here two and a half years but we feel quite close with the locals, these were unfortunate circumstances but eveyone has been looking out for each other.”

While their 10-acre hobby farm burned out close to their house, the Blake family received another silver lining with the miraculous return of their runaway eight-week-old piglet Boris.

After escaping from an insecure portion of his damaged pen, Boris found his way home after he was thought to be lost forever.