Another narrow escape

Paul and Christine Vercoe, Peter Amadio, Mia Darmody, Heather Amadio and Bella Darmody at the Amadio property Montella, just outside Batlow, which was narrowly saved from the Dunns Road fire.

The Amadio family, who live on the Old Tumbarumba Road between Wondalga and Batlow, are one of many who have a story about only just managing to save their home from the flames.

“The fire came up here in the afternoon, and jumped the road,” Bella Darmody (nee Amadio) said.

Fortunately, there were water bombers overhead and dozers cutting fire breaks.

However, the family said that fire crews had to leave the scene and go and save the town of Batlow, so Peter Amadio, Paul Vercoe (neighbour), Dominic Darmody and David Wagg took it on themselves to defend their homestead.

“We were probably stupid; we should have gone, but anyhow we stuck with it,” Peter said.

“The fire stopped just short of the house. I don’t know why, probably because the grass was short and green. We had sprinklers on the roof wetting all the gutters.”

The men fought the fire despite having no protective clothing and only one ute with slip on fire fighting equipment.

They constantly had to fetch water from the water tank on the property during their fire fight.

Their success in saving the house was no accident.

“We spent two days, when we had time, preparing,” Paul Vercoe said.

“Cleaning everything up, we got everything out of the shed.”

They removed fuel and potential fire hazards which lower the intensity of the fire when it got closest to the house.

The house itself played a role in it’s own salvation.

“Peter built this house,” Paul said.

“It’s heavily constructed and has a concrete floor so the fire can’t get underneath it.”