Ian Kerley was one of the many residents who left in time from the Cooroibah bushfire. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Ian Kerley was one of the many residents who left in time from the Cooroibah bushfire. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Resident ‘didn’t need an invitation to leave’ fire

EMBERS rained down around Ian Kerley as he rushed his parents from their Lake Cooroibah home.

Only about 20 minutes earlier, he had been down at the lake, about 200m from the Pines Ave home where he and his parents live.

“There was a lot of people down at the lake looking and I noticed it was getting close and I just (thought) ‘now is the time to go home and put the fire plan into action’,” Mr Kerley said.

It was about 3pm Friday when he grabbed a prepacked box of personal valuables, his dog Sheba and his parents Michael and Barbara, who left in a separate car.

A bushfire rages towards Lake Cooroibah on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian Kerley.
A bushfire rages towards Lake Cooroibah on Friday afternoon. Picture: Ian Kerley.

Forced evacuations hadn’t started but he didn’t need an invitation to leave.

“When I was leaving the car was full of ash,” Mr Kerley said.

“There were falling embers.

“It was very full on.”

Mr Kerley said he had had trouble seeing the road as he was driving out.

He said the atmosphere had a grey, green and gold filter.

“It was pretty frightening.”

His parents stayed the night at the Noosa Leisure Centre in Wallace Drive, Noosaville, and he stayed nearby.

Mr Kerley was at the centre on Saturday morning, awaiting news of his home’s fate, but he took some comfort from images he could remotely access from a camera set up in the home.

“We logged into that and the inside of the house looks good, which is handy, but I haven’t got anything of the outside.

“We are going to have to see how it is on the outside and what we have got to do to fix that up because there was a lot of embers.”

He said he would wait to hear when he was allowed to go home.



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