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Police block the road at the corner of Captain's Flat Rd and Kearns Pde near Queanbeyan.
CLAIRE BICKERS in CARWOOLA
Some did not know whether they would return to find their house still standing after reports that more than 15 homes had been lost.Others had family members who stayed to fight the blaze and managed to save their home.
Samantha Truesdale talks to a neighbour on the phone while her daughter Abby is consoled by her grandfather. Picture: Sean Davey.
Samantha Truesdale talks to a neighbour on the phone while her daughter Abby is consoled by her grandfather. Picture: Sean Davey.
Source:Supplied
Widgiewa Road remained closed until just before 11am on Saturday while emergency services secured the area.Power has been turned off but residents are still being warned to avoid fallen power lines.Only home owners have been allowed back in at this stage.Grassy land surrounding their homes has been blackened by the fire and some patches are still smouldering this morning.
Samantha Truesdale comforts her daughter Abby, 17 after she returned to the farm. Picture: Sean Davey.
Samantha Truesdale comforts her daughter Abby, 17 after she returned to the farm. Picture: Sean Davey.
Source:Supplied
Workers examine the damage at Captain's Flat Rd. Picture: Sean Davey.
Workers examine the damage at Captain's Flat Rd. Picture: Sean Davey.
Source:Supplied
Properties nearby narrowly escaped the blaze with the grass surrounding some homes entirely black to within metres of their walls.Many have lost sheds and other equipment.
There were fears this morning looters had gotten past the SES road blocks as people returned homes but the reports have yet to be confirmed.Sergeant Rob Tapply has told home owners to return to their properties for now and wait for emergency services and police to door knock everyone off Widgiewa Road for a property assessment.Earlier today, MalcolmTurnbull commended firefighters who battled the terrifying blaze.“I just want to thank and commend the firefighters there and all the first responders who are again showing that selfless service to the community battling the worst that nature can fling at us,” he told reporters before flying out of Queenstown, New Zealand on Saturday.
Vehicles in road block as the blaze rages in background. Picture: Sean Davey.
Vehicles in road block as the blaze rages in background. Picture: Sean Davey.
Source:News Corp Australia
The PM and wife Lucy leaving New Zealand today after paying tribute to firefighters. Picture Kym Smith
The PM and wife Lucy leaving New Zealand today after paying tribute to firefighters. Picture Kym Smith
Source:News Corp Australia
The fast-moving fire swept through the town of Carwoola, near the ACT, as firefighters fought desperately to contain the flames late yesterday.Two firefighters were injured fighting the severe blaze east of Queanbeyan.
Kevin and Vanessa Linley: “The sky changed colour at a quarter to 12, and three hours later we’ve lost everything.” Pictures: Sean Davey
Kevin and Vanessa Linley: “The sky changed colour at a quarter to 12, and three hours later we’ve lost everything.” Pictures: Sean Davey
Source:Supplied
High winds and 34C heat fanned the flames that hit homes around lunchtime and had burned more than 2700ha by last night.The Carwoola fire was so intense it jumped over several roads as well as the Molonglo River, forcing residents to flee. Evacuation centres were set up in nearby Queanbeyan.Vanessa and Kevin Linley watched their home and ­machinery repair business go up in smoke as the fire raged through Widgiewa Rd.“The sky changed colour at a quarter to 12, and three hours later we’ve lost everything,” Mr Linley said.
Motorists at a road block near Queanbeyan view the devastation.
Motorists at a road block near Queanbeyan view the devastation.
Source:News Corp Australia
Ben Copeman evacuates his horses.
Ben Copeman evacuates his horses.
Source:News Corp Australia
Genevieve Devin watches plumes of smoke as a fire approaches Hoskinstown.
Genevieve Devin watches plumes of smoke as a fire approaches Hoskinstown.
Source:News Corp Australia
Mr Linley and his wife grabbed their marriage certificate and their computer hard drive and fled as the flames approached. It was all they managed to save.He said they were preparing to fight the fire but the flames were so high they were forced to flee.“I was prepared to fight, I had a thousand litres of water in the tanks all ready to go — then the fire came over the shed, double the height of the shed and the shed is six feet tall,” he said.“It just moved so fast. One minute it was clear blue skies, and one change in the wind and we were in thick dark black smoke and that’s when I said we had to go.“I left the ute, and as we went down our little driveway in the car everything was ablaze,” Mr Linley said.
A woman waits anxiously for her pregnant daughter and grandchildren to escape Hoskinstown.
A woman waits anxiously for her pregnant daughter and grandchildren to escape Hoskinstown.
Source:News Corp Australia
The woman’s daughter arrives after the evacuation. Her husband had to remain at their property.
The woman’s daughter arrives after the evacuation. Her husband had to remain at their property.
Source:News Corp Australia
Police block the road at the corner of Captain's Flat Rd and Kearns Pde near Queanbeyan.
Police block the road at the corner of Captain's Flat Rd and Kearns Pde near Queanbeyan.
Source:News Corp Australia
The family had lived in the home for 18 years and said it was known as “The Court House” because it was built from bricks made by convicts that were used in Queanbeyan’s original courthouse.Mr Linley said his neighbours got stuck on their property as the fire hemmed them in but they survived.Julie Wallace was last night unsure whether her house in Widgiewa Rd had survived the blaze.She was shopping for supplies for her daughter Kaylee’s 18th birthday party when friends rang to warn her about the fire.She raced home to save her pet dogs and cat Oscar. “I’ve had to cancel the party, I’ve still got the karaoke machine in the car,” she said.The family was planning to host 60 people for the sleepover birthday party, with guests to bring their own tents and camp beds.“I’m a bit sad but there is nothing you can do,” Kaylee Wallace said.The Rural Fire Service downgraded advice for residents to “watch and act” level today and said crews were managing to hold the fire as they seek to take advantage of milder conditions.CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS AND NEWS ALERTSOriginally published as Families return to fire-ravaged Carwoola