Upper Pappinbarra family have narrow escape from bushfire as other homes burn

Kelly escaped from the flames on a tractor. Her son took this photo.
Kelly escaped from the flames on a tractor. Her son took this photo.

Kelly Osmand feels very glad to be alive.

Last Friday, a firestorm raged on to her farm and was almost at her home when she managed to get away from the flames on a tractor. The fire was coming up behind her.

"Just massive, big, huge, bright red flames came up on late Friday afternoon," she recalled.

Kelly Osmand

She set her house up, hoping it would still be there, and she and her sons, 18-year-old Sid Curran and 30-year-old Jay Moon and his partner, Elise Burton got away to safety in Port Macquarie.

The scene around Kelly's home and caravan after the fire.

The scene around Kelly's home and caravan after the fire.

At 2am on Saturday morning, Kelly went back to the area and stayed with her neighbours, the Frosts. The next morning she walked a couple of kilometres up her road, and was thrilled to find that she still had a house. There was still a lot of stuff burning and she could hear the scary crack of big trees falling and crashing down.

Kelly is very relieved that all the vegetation around her home is now burned, but she can't drive up to her house because the lane is covered in debris. Also, the smoke is really bad, so she is sleeping on sofas outside Hollisdale Hall in Pappinbarra, along with her faithful dog, Zeus.

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AFTERWARDS: Kelly and her dog, Zeus, are sleeping on a sofa outside Hollisdale Hall in Pappinbarra a the moment, and she is doing volunteer work for other fire victims. Photo: Letitia Fitzpatrick.

AFTERWARDS: Kelly and her dog, Zeus, are sleeping on a sofa outside Hollisdale Hall in Pappinbarra a the moment, and she is doing volunteer work for other fire victims. Photo: Letitia Fitzpatrick.

Kelly admits that with relief at having a house, there is a sobering thought that seven years of growing and building around her home is gone. She needs to clear the road to her home and get back in. But she also feels fortunate, and is happy to work at Hollisdale Hall to help other members of the community. Three of her neighbours lost their homes in the fire, and others lost sheds.

Kelly isn't able to drive a car up the road to her home yet as there's too much debris from the fire.

Kelly isn't able to drive a car up the road to her home yet as there's too much debris from the fire.

More on the bushfire:

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This story Bushfire terror: Kelly and family escape just in time first appeared on Port Macquarie News.