THERE was no way Neil and Helen Good were letting last Tuesday’s fire take their house without a fight.
The couple decided to stay and defend as the mid afternoon sun was blocked out by thick columns of smoke on three sides of their rural property.
They live on the western side of the Princes Highway, south of the Sussex Inlet Road intersection and were close to where the fire jumped the highway after breaking containment lines.
The roar of the fire was one of Mr Good’s strongest memories from Tuesday as he watched flames racing past the bush close to his boundary.
“We could see the flames through the trees and you could hear it coming with a roar,” he said.
“We had embers falling all around us, with hoses and pumps going.
“Firefighters had foamed the back shed. Later in the night the southerly came through really strong.
“I reckon if it had stayed strong like that we would have lost our bottom shed.”
The couple purchased the acreage in 2001 when the same area was burnt out.
“That time the fire went around both sides of the land.
“This house was only built nine years ago. At the time we had pipes from the dams to the house put in and we have two firefighting pumps hooked up. We also decided to keep a large cleared area around the house,” he said.
Helen Good said having other family members at the house helping throughout the fire comforted her but she was exhausted by the time she got to bed.
“I grew up in Sussex Inlet and bushfires were a petty regular thing,” she said.
“I remember as kids we would get out there with blankets and buckets of water to fight them.
“We were in Swanhaven in 2001 when everything went up, that was much worse.
“When we built out here we decided to keep it clear around the house,” she said.