Peregian family comes face to face with bushfire
AS THE sun started going down on Sunday, January 22, Nikki and Terry Shaughnessy knew it was time to act in the face of a large bushfire.
With the firefront burning less than 100m from their home, emergency services began door-knocking along the street, letting people know their options.
"The fire brigade came and said you can leave, or you can stay and fight, it's up to you," Terry said.
So Nikki packed up the car with the children, Lewis, 11, and Jessica, 4, and took them to a friend's place.
Dad Terry decided to stay.
"I stayed with the hosepipe in my hand," Terry said.
"I worked so hard for all of this - I didn't want to leave."
Nikki said she was frightened, but she knew removing the kids from the smoke and potential danger was the best option.
"Jess wasn't too bad, she took her teddies with her so she could sleep," Nikki said.
"Lewis, he was the one that was wondering why we were leaving and dad was staying.
"He collected all of his golf trophies just in case the house burnt down."
Terry said the worst moment was the sound of the backburning and fire front meeting.
"They were backburning at 11pm," Terry said.
"The backburning went for 45 minutes until it met the fire. That was the most frightening bit.
"40m in is where the fire was. I don't think we were in danger, though. Had I been in danger, I would have got in the van and left."
Nikki and Terry agreed that the community spirit during such a perilous time was "amazing".
"When the firefighters were in the street, someone walked up with a basket of fruit and water for them," Terry said.
"We wouldn't be here without them."
Fortunately, the family didn't experience any serious damage to their house.
Apart from the burnt trees just behind the property, Terry said every morning something reminds him of that evening.
"It still stinks in the morning, it's the morning dew," he said.
Peregian Springs State School collected donations for the emergency services that helped during the bushfires.
Lewis, who attends the school, put some money in the collection bucket as a way to say thank you.
"We made a donation at the school," Nikki said.
"The firefighters did such a good job.
"You hear about it but you don't know what it's like. I've never seen anything like it."