Son’s desperate dash through WA bushfire inferno to help dad save home
When the flames surrounding their Tilden Park home grew too intense, Steve Curtis told his son Danny the time had come for them to leave.
The bushfire that has destroyed thousands of hectares north-east of Perth, swept around the hill before them and came on their property like a pincer movement on Monday.
Steve and Danny were frantically soaking their property, carrying water with anything they could find.
Danny filmed their desperate battle, which seemed doomed.
And when the fire got too close, Steve made the call, and Danny jumped in his car and fled, only to realise his dad hadn’t followed.
“We had a pact, more or less, if the flames were getting that big, we were going to leave — he set me up,” Danny said.
Steve admitted he hadn’t been able to leave the home, but had wanted his son to get out.
“I thought, I can’t leave my house (and) I thought, that’s it, he’s gone to safety,” he said.
But once Danny realised what was going on, he turned his car around and headed straight back.
When he was stopped at a roadblock, he abandoned his car and ran.
“That could have gone south so quickly,” Danny said.
“When I got there, it was just, everything surrounding me was just flaming.”
Together they managed to fend off the fire, saving their uninsured home.
“I can’t believe he did that — such a brave lad,” Steve said.
The pair know that despite the close call, they are among the lucky ones — both safe and their home standing.
“This has actually brought my spirits back … it’s about time I won something, I won my house back,” Steve said.
So far, 81 homes have been destroyed in the massive fire, including the Curtis family’s neighbour’s.
“That’s not God, that’s nature,” Steve said.
“God is the people coming around and helping.”
As of Thursday night, a second fire in Western Australia is only eight kilometres away from joining a 130 kilometre wall of flames that continues to threatens homes in the Perth Hills region.
Fierce winds have forced crucial firefighting aircraft battling an monster fire burning in the Perth hills region out of the air as 500 firefighters tackle the blaze from the ground.
The main fire has grown into a 130 kilometre wall of flames.
Authorities fear wind gusts 70km/h could carry embers from the main fire front and spark further blazes.