Andrew Gibson of Caloundra says he’s overcome the mental impact of being trapped in the Mallacoota fire zone. His concern remains focused on those who have lost everything.
Andrew Gibson of Caloundra says he’s overcome the mental impact of being trapped in the Mallacoota fire zone. His concern remains focused on those who have lost everything.

Fire evacuee’s heart bleeds for devastated victims

ANDREW Gibson doesn't know when he may see his car again, but that is the least of his concerns.

The Currimundi Special School teacher's aide was in the first wave of evacuees from Mallacoota on January 3 after experiencing the horror of blacked-out days and the fight to save a cousin's home as neighbouring properties burst into flames.

In Mallacoota whole streets and entire blocks of houses have been destroyed.
In Mallacoota whole streets and entire blocks of houses have been destroyed.

As traumatic as the experience was, Andrew said mentally he felt OK.

"I've no idea when I'll get my car back," he said.

"The power's back on to my cousin's house, the fires are out, and they are trying to make part of the road accessible.

"I'm not too concerned about the car.

There's so much to do down there.

"When you see what's going on with others.

So many have lost their homes."

Among those badly-affected, Andrew said, was a friend at John's River south of Port Macquarie who survived along with his house.

A neighbour was not as fortunate losing her life in the blaze that swept through the small community in early November.

Andrew said he may be able to head south around Australia Day to retrieve his vehicle.

In the meantime he's been grateful for a vehicle lent to him by a work colleague and heartened by the national outpouring of generosity which included help offer by 4000 tradie volunteers who have registered to volunteer their time to help rebuild homes.


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