Counting the cost of the Pinery bushfires
In the wake of the devastating Pinery bushfires in South Australia there have been many stories of devastation, trauma and loss.
People who no longer have a home, a job and those grieving the loss of loved ones.
It has been a harrowing time.
Kerrie Daniel is a member of the Beyond Bank Australia team and she left work early on the day of the fire after receiving messages from the Country Fire Service to evacuate the family home.
This is her story.
“ As I drove into Freeling, we prayed that Mum’s house was still standing and the animals were OK.
“In less than two minutes, day turned to night, the sky went black and the fire tore through like a freight train.
“At mum’s place, it was organized chaos as my husband, my brother, sister-in-law and I worked alongside friends and locals who had come to help, including a 92 year old man who was filling buckets of water as quickly as the rest of us.
“A neighbour came and saved our two dogs who were in an extreme state of distress.
“If these people hadn’t been so kind, our home and pets would be gone.
“The hardest thing was coming back and pulling into the driveway to see that pretty well everything that my parents had built together as well as their beautiful gardens had been burnt.
“Dad passed away four years ago and now, all that he had built on our property, his sheds, his beloved party room, his fridge full of beer, his many treasures were simply not there.
“It was the worst moment for us as a family and it’s going to take a long, long time for us to recover from this.
“Our main house was miraculously saved by the water bombers and CFS crews but the damage and loss is overwhelming and it is hard to know where to even start to rebuild.
“At least we are all alive and now we have to stay positive.
“There haven’t been many special moments over the past few days but one came yesterday when a clean up crew arrived and somehow, amongst all the rubble, found Dad’s old chainsaws, charred and blackened but still with blades attached.
“It’s the only tangible thing I now have to remember him but at least it’s something.”
“We thank everyone for the support they have given our family at this time.”