Fire too close for comfort

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A Twizel family were incredibly lucky to escape unharmed after a 15 hectare scrub fire came awfully close to catching a property on Sunday evening.

The fire occurred about 6pm after the small initial fire became much bigger after the wind changed direction and pushed it towards a new subdivision called The Drive.

Oamaru Police Community Constable Bruce Dow, who saw the action unfold said the fire crew need to be congratulated for their efforts.

“It looked for certain as if the fire was going to get the house, but they turned up at exactly the right time, knocked the fence down and put out the fire just before it reached the premises.”

Mr Dow said the fire looked like it was going to be very hard to stop.

“It looked as though it was going to get bigger and bigger, but they had a helicopter turn up with a monsoon bucket and fight the blaze just in time.”

The family were evacuated from the house just in time and when Mr Dow went to tell them to get out they already had friends and neighbours helping them pack stuff.

He said it was a scary sight.

“When I first saw it, I thought it was coming from a farm in Omarama so I decided to follow it and then realised where it was closer to Twizel,” he said.

Farmers, firefighters and various other people helped bring the fire under control.

Near-by residents were forced to evacuate their homes.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: SUPPLIED – The fire which nearly took out a house in Twizel on Sunday evening.