Malmsbury relief after close call

MALMSBURY residents say the rapid response of fire crews helped save their homes.

The fast-moving grassfire destroyed hay sheds and came close to engulfing houses as it covered more than 115 hectares on Sunday.

Flames reached the backyard of Peter Jenner's property and burnt his hay shed and most of his fencing. He said the quick reactions of firefighters helped save the house.

"I haven't seen any fire come so close to my place before," he said. 

"It was all so quick. You don't have time to think."

Mr Jenner said he was watching the fire front come toward the property and by the time he went to the shed to move his horses it had burnt his backyard.

"All of a sudden it was at the house. It was sort of a numb feeling," he said.

Ray Smith and Sandra Little were at home in Old Quarry Road when flames reached their roof.

Homes saved in 'nick of time' from fire

Mr Smith said he thought they were going to lose the house. He said the speed of the fire and the way it changed direction was frightening.

"The heat was so intense," he said.

"It moved very fast, so fast it was scary. I’ve seen a few grassfires before. They were in slow motion compared to this one. It was just horrendous."

Mr Smith said the damage to the roof of the home was minor but he said the blaze destroyed a hay shed and garden shed containing a ride-on lawnmower and other equipment.

Two alpacas that live at the property suffered burns and may have to be put down.

A CFA spokeswoman said there were a number of livestock affected by the fire. She said the fire was caused by motorbikes being ridden in a paddock.

Mr Smith said he was extremely grateful for the fire crews' work.

"They did a superb job. When I left my house there weren’t any tankers there and I thought the house was gone.

"They came in the nick of time and saved the house."

Mr Smith said he would donate money to a Malmsbury Fire Brigade fundraiser and he hoped others could do the same. 

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