Monday, 9 September 2013


I am glad to see the back of August.  After life going so well or at least steadily happy for us of late the personal issues and dramas that hit us in August took its toll on me and I felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster.

One major drama that happened that shook me to the core happened on the 11th of August.  When I woke up that Sunday morning I was pleased to see the sun shining and hoped on having a day filled with sunshine so that when daddy went to work Bug and I could go on a lovely country walk.  I was also pleased at the chance of getting lots of clothes dried in the nice weather.

At about lunchtime after saying goodbye to daddy who sent off to work Bug helped me hang some more washing out to dry on the line before we headed inside to have some lunch.  After being indoors for about 20 minutes there was a bang on the door.  Curious to see who it could be on a Sunday afternoon especially seeing as I had not heard a car arrive on the farm opened the door to see who was on my doorstep.

Stood on my doorstep and looking very worried was my teenage next door neighbour who simply said “There’s a fire in the sheds……you need to get out now!”

With the word “fire” ringing in my head I grabbed Bug and the dogs and headed outside to see the large sheds in-between our home and the farm house on the other side where our neighbours live ablaze.

My heart was racing with worry and panic was flowing through me as I saw the flames blazing in the sheds with the fire burning out of control. 

My teenaged next door neighbour had rushed off at the point to help his dad as they attempted to rescue some of their tools and equipment from the sheds.  As I stood outside in shock clutching Bug the mother of the family from next door came over to say the fire brigade were on their way.  With the fire edging ever closer to our home but for the moment going nowhere near our next door neighbour’s house, she took Bug over to her house to play with her older girls whilst I got the dogs and grabbed my phone and bag.

Before heading across the farm yard over to our next door neighbours house I rang my mum to tell her what was happening, asking her to get in touch with her brother/my uncle whose farm it is. 

Trying to compose myself and not have a meltdown I took a moment to myself before going to find Bug.  Watching the flames lick along the shed wall only 2 metres away from our home I could only think the worst, that our home would go up in flames any moment and everything inside would be gone forever.

Suddenly from inside the shed came a series of loud bangs as one of our next door neighbours equipment, possibly a compressor, blew up in the fire.  In utter shock, with panic of our home burning to the ground bubbling inside I stumbled to my next door neighbours to find Bug.  Whilst walking across the yard past the burning sheds I felt so pleased to hear in the distance fire engine sirens.

As it was a lovely sunny day my next door neighbour’s daughters were playing outside with Bug who was happily bouncing on their trampoline unaware of the surrounding drama and blazing fire.

In total 4 fire engine crews and an environmental unit rushed to the farm to tackle the blaze using 2 hose-reel jets, one main jet, one light portable pump, a thermal imaging camera and absorbent mats.

Sat on our next door neighbour’s front lawn whilst Bug was happily playing with their outdoor toys I felt hopeless especially as I had no clue if the fire had reached our home.  Looking after Bug whilst the fire fighters battled the fire all I could see was a red glow above the sheds and a mass of black smoke in the air above the sheds and our home.  Apart from the view of the smoke filled sky all I could see was fire fighters back and forth, rotating the fire engine up and down our track to fill up the engine with water from the river at the bottom of the road.

After the fire fighters had been battling the fire for quite a while I thankfully got an update that the fire had not reached our home and it was looking positive that they had the fire under control and that it would not reach our home at all. 

With Lee at work, the fire still burning in the sheds and fire engines all around we spent the afternoon playing on our next door neighbour’s lawn until early evening when we managed to get a lift to my mum’s work place where she staying to cover whilst the owners were away on holiday.  Before leaving after a quick chat with the head fire fighter in charge we were advised that even though the fire had not reached our home and burnt it to the ground we could not stay there for a few days due to smoke damage and residual fumes from the fire that could cause health issues especially as the shed would still be smouldering for many hours.  Thankfully Bug and I could stay at my mum’s work, a 5* bed and breakfast, so with a small bag packed we left the chaos and headed to our palatial home for a few days.

The following day after an unsettled night with Bug struggling to settle without seeing his daddy and staying somewhere unknown after Bug devoured a 5* breakfast we headed home to see what devastation the fire had caused.

Arriving at the farm the air was filled with the smell of smoke.  Even though the damage could have been a lot more devastating especially if it had reached our home it was surprising to see the aftermath of the fire and the destroyed shed.  Before we arrived our neighbours had been clearing the debris, removing the destroyed machinery and equipment as was as the shell of a car that had gone up in the blaze.

Inside our home the smell of smoke was also prominent and I spent days cleaning and washing clothes to rid the smell of smoke…..all of the clothes that had been drying brilliantly outside stunk of smoke too and had been showered with ash.  Apart from smoke damage the only other noticeable damage to our home was that a number of the windows alongside the shed had cracked thanks to the heat from the blazing fire.

I was surprised to hear from a friend that the fire had been mentioned on the local news and reported on online too and also surprised to see a small article about the fire on the front of the local paper a few days later.

After a few days spent away from home and numerous loads of washing things have returned to normal with the shell of the shed the only sign that our quiet Sunday afternoon quickly turned to chaos.

Even though things could have been a lot worse and I am grateful that it was not worse, the dark side of my brain has skimmed across the ‘what ifs’…..what if it had happened in the night and not been noticed before it was too late……what if our home had gone up in flames……

But there is no point in dwelling on the ‘what ifs’ thankfully even though it was very scary at the time and at times I have felt the fear of that moment wash over me again remembering the sight of the fire so close to our home, fearing for Bug and our family home, it all turned out well and nobody was hurt and the damage was minimal compared to what it could have been in the grand scheme of things.

I am eternally grateful to the brilliant job the hardworking fire fighters did battling the fire for six hours and preventing it from reaching our home.

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