4 JANUARY 2002

NSW Rural Fire Service - Blue Mountains District

Fire engines to every house

The Burwood Brigade at my neighbours and the Sutherland Brigade has its hose down my driveway


Helicopter soaks my backyard

Fire approaches the other side of the street and

Channel 7 reports from the front of my house

Fire on the ridge across the valley taken from my loungeroom Window

Helicopter at work across the road

The following article mentioning my neighbours was copied from news.com.au

But Elvis could not fight the battle alone. In Woodford, residents weary after bushfires burned to their back fences on Thursday night backed up to again fight the flames, side by side with fire crews.

In Park Rd, neighbours Jim Leggatt and Shane Metcalfe worked to stop flames which raged out of control in bushland behind their properties. At midday, both men were confident they could hold the flames with their garden hoses. Just 10 minutes later, however, volunteer fire crews were called in as westerly winds whipped up 4m flames and spot fires broke out on grass in Mr Metcalfe's backyard.

Mr Leggatt, 71, edged to less than 5m from the wall of fire, surrounded by dense smoke in a scene where onlookers half his age ran the other way.

"We knew one day a fire would come through. We're all ready, we've got the car packed but we decided to stay through," he said.

Mr Metcalfe was forced to grab his garden hose when the grass fires broke out.

"It was one of the closest encounters I've had with a bushfire in my 32 years living in the Mountains."

Woodford residents were still battling flames late yesterday after an intense 24 hours.

"I've never been so scared in all my life," said resident Jane Marshall. "It ripped before we knew it."


This page created 10/2/02

Revised 2/6/02

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