Chapter Nineteen - FIRE FIRE!
It’s been a terrifying week in the Outback.
I had just been for a run with my friend Chanelle, when she said to me, “would you like to come to Woolies with me?”.
I pondered the idea, really just wanting to go back to my caravan and relax.
For whatever reason, I decided to go and stock up my fridge with healthy food and be set for the week ahead.
Chanelle’s rental is around the corner from my caravan. There is a dusty, narrow road that divides the properties.
As we walked down the narrow back street, I saw flames, smoke and sparks coming off the back of my caravan.
Within seconds, Chanelle and I ran towards the firey red flames and started screaming “FIRE”, FIRE”.
I instantly dialled “000”, frightened I might lose everything - my whole life was in that caravan; my passport, laptop, clothes and many other treasured possessions.
That small cobalt blue caravan was my Outback sanctuary, away from the hordes of tourists that lounge in the garden at the lodge.
My thoughts raced, as I spoke to the 000 operators. I was scared the fire would spread and latch its furious flames onto the adjoining caravan.
Chanelle and I ran around to the front of the property, frightened we might see something devastating.
By the grace of god, a quick-thinking tourist yelled “switch the electricity off!”
Thankfully by the time we made it back to my place, the fire had dissipated. Within minutes the police and fire brigade were there.
They took my name, number and a description of the turn of events. Looking back, it’s all a blur. My body went into fight or flight mode. Determined to be strong, I spoke confidently and clearly to the police.
The fire was an electrical fire in the air conditioning unit. It was an extremely hot day, with the temperatures in the sweltering 40s.
As a result, the place I have called “home” for 7 months, is no longer liveable.
I’m so grateful to Chanelle for inviting me to Woolies, because if she hadn’t I would have been in my caravan and I hate to think what would have happened.
It could have been devastating.
I have a terrible sense of smell, so I don’t even know if I would have smelt it.
The events of the last few days have both shocked and gratified me. All my Outback friends have stepped up, helped me move my things, been there to listen and support me.
The Australian concept of “mateship” has been exemplified over the last few days. Friends have helped me move, they checked in with me daily and have been there when I have most needed them. I am so grateful.
The true colours of people come out at times like these.
Thank god, my friends have shined bright.