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    Ms Day lives on a property owned by Doug and Patricia Crute, pictured, owners of Dadswells Bridge icon The Giant Koala.

Fleeing from Dadswells fire

When Lee-Anne Day left Dadswells Bridge on Tuesday to take wool into Horsham, she never expected to return and find her home threatened by a bushfire. 

Ms Day’s home was the only house destroyed at Dadswells Bridge when the fire spread from Grampians National Park to private land.

There were also several sheds, fences, stock and other property burnt in the area, but businesses, the caravan park and community facilities in the township were saved.

Ms Day lives on a property owned by Doug and Patricia Crute, owners of Dadswells Bridge icon The Giant Koala.

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“By the time we got home we had a phone call from Patricia and she said pack what you can and get out,” Ms Day said.

“We didn’t even have a chance to pack clothes – I looked out my bathroom window and I saw flames.

“We’re very lucky that we still have a shearing shed, but the house did get hit.”

Ms Day described fleeing from the fire as ‘very scary’.

“When I say we lost everything – my son and I left with three dogs and three kittens,” she said.

Ms Day said UnitingCare had helped with accommodation for two weeks, but she was unsure of where they would live after that.

She said it was mentally difficult to deal with the fire and the recovery.

“I’m just not the type of person to accept charity, but everyone has been extremely helpful,” she said.

“I don’t like to because I think there’s someone in a worse situation than myself. 

“But when you have nothing and everything you own is sitting in the back seat of your car, you know you are in trouble.”

Ms Day said she was able to salvage a 140-year-plus roasting dish owned by her grandmother, and the toilet was still standing.

“All my photos are gone, my parents’ wedding album, my dad’s train set that he left my son is gone – it’s a bit devastating,” she said.

Great job by graders 

Horsham Rural City Council grader drivers worked through the night at the peak of the fire to ensure containment lines were created at Dadswells Bridge. The team of eight created containment lines to substantially reduce the fire spreading onto private land.

The council has deployed its emergency recovery resources at Dadswells Bridge, including environmental health and business support staff, road maintenance and tree safety crews.

The council will also host pop-up information sessions for residents this week.

Council roads and road infrastructure were damaged by the fire, with assessments ongoing.

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The entire February 21, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!